The Project Gutenberg EBook of The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No. 2,
August, 1862, by Various

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Title: The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No. 2, August, 1862
       Devoted to Literature and National Policy

Author: Various

Release Date: November 27, 2006 [EBook #19927]

Language: English

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Literature and National Policy.

VOL. II.—AUGUST, 1862.—No. II.



[Pg 127]



'My God! drowned herself and her child!' exclaimed the Colonel, with deep emotion.

'Come, my friend, let us go to them at once,' I said, laying my hand on his arm, and drawing him unresistingly away.

A pair of mules was speedily harnessed to a large turpentine-wagon, and the horses we had ridden the day before were soon at the door. When the Colonel, who had been closeted for a few minutes with Madam P—, came out of the house, we mounted and rode off with the 'corn-cracker.'

The native's farm was located on the stream which watered my friend's plantation, and was about ten miles distant. Taking a by-road which led to it through the woods, we rode rapidly on in advance of the wagon.

'Sort o' likely gal, thet, warn't she?' remarked the turpentine-maker, after a while.

'Yes, she was,' replied the Colonel, in a half-abstracted manner, 'very likely.'

'Kill harself 'case har man war shot by thet han'som overseer uv yourn?'

'Not altogether for that, I reckon,' replied my host,' I fear the main reason was her being put at field-work, and abused by the driver.'

'Thet comes uv not lookin' arter things yerself, Cunnel. I 'tend ter my niggers parsonally, and they keer a durned sight more fur this world then fur kingdom-cum. Ye cudn't hire 'em ter kill 'emselves fur no price.'

'Well,' replied the Colonel, in a low tone, 'I did look after her. I put her at full field-work myself.'

'By—!' cried the native, reining his horse to a dead stop, and speaking in an excited manner; 'I doan't b'lieve it, 'taint 't all like ye; yer a d—d seceshener—thet comes uv yer bringin'-up; but ye've a soul bigger'n a meetin'-house, and ye cudn't hev put thet slim, weakly gal inter th' woods, no how!'

The Colonel and I instinctively halted our horses, as the 'corn-cracker' stopped his.

'It is true, Barnes,' said my host, in a low voice, 'I did do it!'

'May God Almighty furgive ye, Cunnel,' said the native, starting his horse forward, 'I wudn't hev dun it fur all yer niggers, by——.'

The Colonel made no reply, and we rode on the rest of the way in silence.

[Pg 128]

The corn-cracker's house—a low, unpainted, wooden building—stood near the little stream, and in the centre of a cleared plot of some ten acres. This plot was surrounded by a post and rail fence, and in its front portion was a garden, which grew a sufficient supply of vegetables to serve a family of twenty persons. In the rear, and at the sides of the dwelling, were about seven acres, devoted mainly to corn and potatoes. In one corner of the lot were three tidy-looking negro-houses, and close beside them I noticed a low shed, near which a large quantity of the stalks of the tall, white corn, common to that section, was stacked in the New-England fashion. Browsing on the corn-stalks were three sleek, well-kept milch-cows and a goat.

About four hundred yards from the farmer's house, and on the bank of the little run, which there was quite wide and deep, stood a turpentine-distillery, and around it were scattered a large number of rosin and turpentine barrels, some filled and some empty. A short distance higher up, and far enough from the 'still' to be safe in the event of a fire, was a long, low, wooden shed, covered with rough, unjointed boards, placed upright, and unbattened. This was the 'spirit-house,' used for the storage of the spirits of turpentine when barreled for market, and awaiting shipment. In the creek, and filling nearly one-half of the channel in front of the spirit-shed, was a raft of pine-timber, on which were laden some two hundred barrels of rosin. On such rude conveyances the turpentine-maker sent his produce to Conwayboro. There the timber-raft was sold to my wayside friend, Captain B—, and its freight shipped on board vessel for New-York.

Two 'prime' negro men, dressed in the usual costume, were 'tending the still,' and a negro-woman, as stout and strong as the men, and clad in a short, loose, linsey gown, from beneath which peeped out a pair of coarse leggins, was adjusting a long wooden trough, which conveyed the liquid rosin from the 'still' to a deep excavation in the earth, at a short distance. In the pit was a quantity of rosin sufficient to fill a thousand barrels.

'Here, Bill,' said Barnes to one of the negro men, as we pulled up at the distillery, 'put these critters up, and give 'em some oats, and when they've cooled off a bit, water 'em.'

'Yas, yas, massa,' replied the negro, springing nimbly forward, and taking the horses by the bridles, 'an' rub 'em down, massa?'

'Yas, rub 'em down right smart,' replied the corn-cracker; then turning to me, as we dismounted, he said: 'Stranger, thet's th' sort o' niggers fur ye; all uv mine ar' jess like him, smart and lively as kittens.'

'He does seem to go about his work cheerfully,' I replied.

'Cheerfully! d—d ef he doan't—all on 'em du! They like me better'n thar own young 'uns, an' it's 'case I use 'em like human bein's;' and he looked slyly toward the Colonel, who just then was walking silently away, in the direction of the run, as if in search of the drowned 'chattels.'

'Not thar, Cunnel,' cried the native, 'they're inter th' shed,' and he started to lead the way to the 'spirit-house.'

'Not now, Barnes,' I said, putting my hand on his arm, 'leave him alone for a little while. He is feeling badly, and we'd better not disturb him.'

The native motioned me to a seat on a rosin-barrel, as he replied:

'Wal, he 'pears ter, thet's a fact, and he orter. D—d ef it arn't wicked to use niggers like cattle, as he do.'

'I don't think he means to ill-treat them; he's a kind-hearted man.'

'Wal, he ar' sort o' so; but he's left ev'ry thing ter thet d—d overseer uv his'n. I wudn't ha' trusted him to feed my hogs.'

'Hogs!' I exclaimed, laughing; 'I supposed you didn't feed hogs in these diggings. I supposed you 'let 'em run.''

'I doan't; an' I've got th' tallest porkys 'round har.'

'I've been told that they get a good living in the woods.'

'Wal, p'raps the' du jest make eout[Pg 129] ter live thar; but my ole 'oman likes 'em ter hum. They clean up a place like, eat up all th' leavin's, an' give th' young nigs suthin' ter du.'

'It seems to me,' I said, resuming the previous thread of the conversation, 'that overseers are a necessity on a large plantation.'

'Wal, the' ar', an' thet's why thar ortent ter be no big plantations; God Almighty didn't make human bein's ter be herded togethar in th' woods. No man orter ter hev more'n twenty on 'em—he can't look arter no more himself, an' it's agin natur' ter set a feller over 'em what han't no int'rest in 'cm, an' no feelin' fur 'em, an' who'll drive 'em round like brutes. I never struck one on 'em in my life, an' my ten du more'n ony fifteen th' Cunnel's got.'

'I thought they needed occasional correction. How do you manage them without whipping?'

'Manage them! why, 'cordin' ter scriptur'—do ter 'em as I'd like ter be dun ter, ef I war a nigger. Every one on 'em knows I'd part with my last shirt, an' live on taters an' cow-fodder, 'fore I'd sell 'em; an' then I give 'em Saturdays for 'emselfs; but thet's cute dealin' in me, (tho' th' pore, simple souls doan't see it,) fur ye knows the' work thet day fur 'emselfs, an' raise nigh all thar own feed, 'cept th' beef and whisky, an' it sort o' makes 'em feel like folks, too, more like as ef the' war free—the' work th' better fur it all th' week.'

'Then you think the blacks would work better if free?'

'In course I does—it's agin man's natur' to be a slave. Thet lousy parson ye herd ter meetin' a Sunday, makes slavery eout a divine institooshun, but my wife's a Bible 'oman, and she says 'tan't so; an' I'm d—d ef she arn't right.'

'Is your wife a South-Carolina woman?'

'No, she an' me's from th' old North—old Car'tret, nigh on ter Newbern—an' we doan't take nat'rally to these fire-eaters.'

'Have you been here long?'

'Wal, nigh on ter six yar. I cum har with nuthin' but a thousan' ter my back, slapped thet inter fifteen hun'red acres, paid it down, and then hired ten likely North-Car'lina niggers, hired 'em with th' chance uv buyin' ef the' liked eout har. Wal, th' nigs all know'd me, and the' sprung ter it like blazes; so every yar I've managed ter buy two on 'em, and now I've ten grow'd up, and thar young uns, th' still and all th' traps paid fur, an' ef this d—d secesh bisness hadn't a come 'long, I'd hev hed a right smart chance o' doin' well.'

'I'm satisfied secession will ruin the turpentine business; you'll be shut up here, unable to sell your produce, and it will go to waste.'

'Thet's my 'pinion; but I reckon I kin manage now witheout turpentine. I've talked it over 'long with my nigs, and we kalkerlate ef these ar doin's go eny furder, ter tap no more trees, but cl'ar land an' go ter raisin' craps.'

'What! do you talk politics with your negroes?'

'Nary a politic; but I'm d—d ef th' critters doan't larn 'em sumhow. The' knows 'bout as much uv what's goin' on as I du; but plantin' arn't politics, it's bisness, an' they've more int'rest in it nor I hev, 'cause they've sixteen mouths ter feed agin my four.'

'I'm glad, my friend, that you treat them like men; but I have supposed they were not well enough informed to have intelligent opinions on such subjects.'

'Informed! wal, I reckon the' is; all uv mine kin read, an' sum on 'em kin write, too. D'ye see that little nig thar?' pointing to a juvenile, coal-black darky of about six years, who was standing before the 'still' fire; 'thet ar little devil kin read an' speak like a parson. He's got hold, sumhow, uv my little gal's book o' pieces, an' larned a dozen on 'em. I make him cum inter th' house, once in a while uv an evenin', an' speechify, an' 'twould do yer soul good ter har him, in his shirt-tail, with a old sheet wound round him fur a toger (I've[Pg 130] told him th' play-actors du it so down ter Charles'on,) an' spoutin' out: 'My name am Norval; on de Gruntin' hills my fader feed him hogs!' The little coon never seed a sheep, an' my wife's told him a flock's a herd, an' he thinks 'hog' sounds better'n 'flock,' so, contra'y ter th' book, he puts in 'hogs,' and hogs, you knows, hev ter grunt, so he gits 'em on th' Gruntin' hills;' and here the kind-hearted native burst into a fit of uproarious laughter, in which, in spite of myself, I had to join.

When the merriment had somewhat subsided, the turpentine-maker called out to the little darky:

'Come here, Jim.'

The young chattel ran to him with alacrity, and wedging in between his legs, placed his little black hands in a free-and-easy way on his master's knees, and looking up trustfully in his face, said:

'Wal, massa?'

'What's yer name?'

'Dandy Jim, massa.'

'Thet arn't all; what's th'rest?'

'Dandy Jim of ole Car'lina.'

'Who made ye?'

'De good God, massa.'

'No, he didn't; God doan't make little nigs. He makes none but white folks,' said the master, laughing.

'Yas, he'm do; missus say he'm do; dat he make dis nig jess like he done little Totty.'

'Wal, he did, Jim. I'm d—d ef He didn't, fur nobody else cud make ye!' replied the man, patting the little wooly head with undisguised affection.

'Now, Jim, say th' creed fur 'de gem-man.''

The young darky then repeated the Apostles' Creed and the Ten Commandments.

'Is thet all ye knows?'

'No, massa, I knows a heap 'sides dat.'

'Wal, say suthin' more; sum on 'em pieces thet jingle.'

The little fellow then repeated with entire correctness, and with appropriate gestures and emphasis, though in the genuine darky dialect—which seems to be inborn with the pure, Southern black—Mrs. Hemans' poem:

'The boy stood on the burning deck.'

'Mrs. Hemans draped in black!' I exclaimed, laughing heartily; 'How would the good lady feel, could she look down from where she is, and hear a little darky doing up her poetry in that style?'

'D—d ef I doan't b'lieve'twud make her love th' little nig like I do,' replied the corn-cracker, taking him up on his knee as tenderly as he would have taken up his own child.

'Tell me, my little man,' I said, 'who taught you all these things?'

'I lamed 'em myseff, sar,' was the prompt reply.

'You learned them yourself! but who taught you to read?'

'I larned 'em myseff, sar!'

'You couldn't have learned that yourself; didn't your 'massa' teach you?'

'No, sar.'

'Oh! your 'missus' did?'

'No, sar.'

'No, sar!' I repeated; then suspecting the real state of the case, I looked him sternly in the eye, and said: 'My little man, it's wrong to tell lies, you must always speak the truth; now, tell me truly, did not your 'missus' teach you these things?'

'No, sar, I larned 'em myseff.'

'Ye can't cum it, stranger; ye moight roast him over a slow fire, an' not git nary a thing eout on him but thet,' said the corn-cracker, leaning forward, and breaking into a boisterous fit of laughter. 'It's agin th' law, an' I'm d—d ef I teached him. Reckon he did larn himself!'

'I must know your wife, my friend. She's a good woman.'

'Good! ye kin bet high on thet; she's uv th' stuff th' Lord makes angels eout on.'

I had no doubt of it, and was about to say so, when the Colonel's turpentine-wagon drove up, and I remembered I had left him too long alone.

The coachman was driving, and Jim sat on the wagon beside him.[Pg 131]

'Massa K—,' said the latter, getting down and coming to me, 'Whar am dey?'

'In the spirit-shed.'

He was turning to go there, when I called him back, saying: 'Jim, you must not see your master now; you'd better keep out of sight for the present.'

'No, massa; de ma'am say de Cunnel take dis bery hard, and dat I orter tell him I'se sorry for what I'se done.'

'Well, wait awhile. Let me go in first.'

Accompanied by the corn-cracker, I entered the turpentine-shed. A row of spirit-barrels were ranged along each of its sides, and two tiers occupied the centre of the building. On these a number of loose planks were placed, and on the planks lay the bodies of the metif woman and her child. The Colonel was seated on a barrel near them, with his head resting on his hands, and his eyes fixed on the ground. He did not seem to notice our entrance, and passing him without speaking, I stepped to the side of the dead.

The woman's dress, the common linsey gown worn by her class, was still wet, and her short, kinky, brown hair fell in matted folds around her head. One arm hung loosely by her side; the other was clasped tightly around her child, which lay as if asleep on her bosom. One of its small hands clung to its mother's breast, and around its little lips played a smile. But how shall I describe the pale, sweet beauty of the face of the drowned girl, as she lay there, her eyes closed, and her lips parted, as in prayer? Never but once have I seen on human features the strange radiance that shone upon it, or the mingled expression of hope and peace and resignation that rested there, and that was in the long-gone time when, standing by her bedside, I watched the passing away of one who is now an angel in heaven!

'Come, my dear friend, let us go,' I said, turning and gently taking the Colonel by the arm, 'the negroes are here, and will take charge of the dead.'

'No, no!' he replied, rising and looking around as if aroused from a troubled dream; 'that is for me to do!' Then he added, after a moment's pause, 'Will you help me to get them into the wagon?'

'Yes, I will, certainly.'

He made one step toward the body of the dead girl, then sinking down again on the barrel, covered his face with his hands, and cried out: 'My God! this is terrible! Did you ever see such a look as that? It will haunt me forever!'

'Come, my friend, rouse yourself—this is weakness; you are tired with the long ride and excitement of the past few days. Come, go home; I will look after them.'

'No, no! I must do it. I will be a man again;' and he rose and walked steadily to the dead bodies. 'Is there any one here to help?' he asked.

Jim was standing in the doorway, and I motioned to him to come forward. The great tears were streaming down his face, as he stepped timidly toward his master, and said: 'I'll do dis, massa, don't you trubble yerself no more.'

'It's good of you, Jim. You'll forgive me for being so cruel to you, won't you?' said the Colonel, taking the black by the hand.

'Forgib ye, massa! I war all ter blame; but ye'll forgib me, massa—ye'll forgib me!' cried the black, with strong emotion.

'Yes, yes; but say no more about it. Come, let us get Julie home.'

But the poor girl was already home—home where her sufferings and her sorrows were over, and all her tears were wiped away forever!

We four bore away the mother and the child. A number of blankets were in the bottom of the wagon, and we laid the bodies carefully upon them. When all seemed ready, the Colonel, who was still standing by the side of the dead, turned to my new friend, and said: 'Barnes, will you loan me a pillow? I will send it back to-night.'

'Sartin, Cunnel,' and the farmer soon brought one from the house. Lifting[Pg 132] tenderly the head of the drowned girl, the Colonel placed it beneath her, and smoothing back her tangled hair, he gently covered her face with his handkerchief, as if she could still feel his kindness, or longer cared for the pity or the love of mortal. Yet, who knows but that her parted soul, from the high realm to which it had soared, may not then have looked down, have seen that act, and have forgiven him?

In the first moments of grief the sympathy of friends and the words of consolation bring no relief. How much more harshly do such words grate on the ear when the soul is bowed down by remorse and unavailing regret! Then the wounded spirit finds peace nowhere but with God.

I saw that the Colonel would be alone, and turning to him, as he prepared to follow the strange vehicle which, with its load of death, was already jolting its way over the rough forest road, I said:

'Will you pardon me, if I remain with your friend here for a while? I will be at the mansion before dark.'

'Oh! certainly, my friend; come when you feel disposed,' he replied, and mounting his horse, he was soon out of sight among the trees.

'Now, Barnes,' I said, shaking off the gloomy feelings that had oppressed me; 'come, I must see that wife of yours, and get a glimpse of how you live.'

'Sartin, stranger; come in. I'll give ye th' tallest dinner my 'oman can scare up, an' she's sum pumkins in th' cookin' line;' and he led the way to the farm-house.

As I turned to follow, I slipped a half-dollar into the hand of the darky who was holding my horse, and asked him to put her again into the stable.

'I'll do dat, sar; but I karn't take dis; massa doan't 'low it nohow,' he replied, tendering me back the money.

'Barnes, your negroes have strange ways; I never met one before who'd refuse money.'

'Wal, stranger,'tan't hosspetality to take money on yer friends, and Bill gets all he wants from me.'

I took the silver and gave it to the first darky I met, who happened to be an old centenarian belonging to the Colonel. As I tossed it to him, he grinned out: 'Ah! massa, I'll git sum 'backer wid dis; 'pears like I hadn't nary a chaw in furty yar.' With more than one leg in the grave, the old negro had not lost his appetite for the weed: in fact, that and whisky are the only 'luxuries' ever known to the plantation black.

As we went nearer, I took a closer survey of the farm-house. It was, as I have said, a low, unpainted, wooden building, located in the middle of a ten-acre lot. It was approached by a straight walk, paved with a mixture of sand and tar, similar to that which the reader may have seen in the Champs Elysées. I do not know whether my backwoods friend or the Parisian pavior was the first inventor of this composition; but I am satisfied the corn-cracker had not stolen it from the stone-cracker. The walk was lined with fruit-bearing shrubs, and directly in front of the house were two small flower-beds.

The dwelling itself, though of a dingy-brown wood-color, was neat and inviting. It may have been forty feet square on the ground, and was only a story and a half high; but a projecting roof and a front dormer-window relieved it from the appearance of disproportion. Its gable ends were surmounted by two enormous brick chimneys, carried up on the outside, in the fashion of the South, and its high, broad windows were ornamented with Venetian blinds. Its front door opened directly into the 'living-room,' and at the threshold we met its mistress. As the image of that lady has still a warm place in a pleasant corner of my memory, I will describe her. She was about thirty years of age, and had a fresh, cheerful face. To say that she was handsome, would not be strictly true; though she had that pleasant, gentle, kindly expression that sometimes makes even a homely person seem beau[Pg 133]tiful. But she was not homely. Her features were regular, her hair glossy and brown, and her eyes black and brilliant, and for their color, the mildest and softest I had ever seen. Her figure was tall, and in its outline somewhat sharp and angular; but she had an ease and grace about her that made one forget she was not molded as softly and roundly as others. She seemed just the woman on whose bosom a tired, worn, over-burdened man might lay his weary head, and find rest and forgetfulness.

She wore a neat calico dress, fitting closely to the neck, and an apron of spotless white muslin. A little lace cap perched cosily on the back of her head, hiding a portion of her wavy, dark hair, and on her feet—a miracle, reader, in one of her class—were stockings and shoes! Giving me her hand—which, at the risk of making her husband jealous, I held for a moment—she said, making a gentle courtesy:

'Ye ar welcome, stranger.'

'I sincerely thank you, madam; I am a stranger in these parts.'

She tendered me a chair; while her husband opened a sideboard, and brought forth a box of Havanas and a decanter of Scuppernong. As I took the proffered seat, he offered me the refreshments. I drank the lady's health in the wine, but declined the cigars. Seeing this, she remarked:

'Yer from th' North, sir, arn't ye?'

'Yes, madam, I live in New-York; but I was born in New-England.'

'I reckoned so; I knew ye didn't belong in Car'lina.'

'How did you know that, madam?' I asked, laughing.

'I seed ye doan't smoke 'fore wimmin. But ye mustn't mind me; I sort o' likes it; it's a great comfut to John, and may be it ar to ye.'

'Well, I do relish a good cigar; but I never smoke before any lady except my wife, and though she's only 'a little lower than the angels,' she does, once in a while, say it's a shame to make the house smell like a tobacco-factory.'

Barnes handed me the box again, and I took one. As I was lighting it, he said:

'Ye've got a good 'oman, hev ye?'

'There's none better; at least, I think so.'

'Wal, I'm 'zactly uv thet 'pinion 'bout mine; I wouldn't trade her fur all this worle an' th' best half uv t'other.'

'Don't ye talk so, John,' said the lady. Then addressing me, she added: 'It's a good husband thet makes a good wife, sir.'

'Sometimes, madam, but not always, I've known some of the best of wives who had miserable husbands.'

'An' I'm d—d ef I made my wife th' 'oman she ar',' said the corn-cracker.

'Hush, John, ye mustn't swar so; ye knows how often ye've said ye wouldn't.'

'Wal, I du, an' I won't agin, by—.' But Sukey, whar's th' young uns?'

'Out in the lot, I reckon; but ye mustn't holler'm in—they'r all dirt.'

'No matter for that, madam,' I said, 'dirt is healthy for little ones; rolling in the mud makes them grow.'

'Then ourn orter grow right smart, fur they'r in it allers.'

'How many have you, madam?'

'Two; a little boy, four, and a little gal, six.'

'They're of interesting ages.'

'Yas, the' is int'restin'; ev'ry uns own chil'ren is smart; but the' does know a heap. John was off ter Charl'ston no great while back, an' the little boy used ter pray ev'ry mornin' an' ev'nin' fur his fader ter cum hum. I larned 'em thet jest so soon as the' talked, 'cause thar's no tellin' how quick the' moight be tooken 'way. Wal, the little feller prayed ev'ry mornin' an' ev'nin' fur his fader ter cum back, and John didn't cum; so finarly he got sort o' provoked with th' Lord, an' he said God war aither deaf an' couldn't har or he war naughty an' wouldn't tell fader thet little Johnny wanted to seed 'im 'werry mooch,'' and here the good lady laughed pleasantly, and I joined in most heartily.

Blessed are the children that have such a mother!

Soon the husband returned with the[Pg 134] little girl and boy and four young ebonies, all bare-headed and all dressed alike, in thick trowsers and a loose linsey shirt. Among them was my new acquaintance, 'Dandy Jim, of ole Car'lina.'

The little girl came to me, and soon I had two white children on one knee and two black on the other, with Dandy Jim between my legs, playing with my watchchain. The family made no distinction between the colors, and as the children were all equally clean, I did not see why I should do so.

The lady renewed the conversation by remarking: 'P'raps ye reckon it's quar, sir, that we 'low ourn to 'sociate 'long with th' black chil'ren; but we karn't help it. On big plantations, it works sorry bad, fur th' white young uns larn all manner of evil from the black uns; but I've laboored ter teach ourn so one won't do no harm ter t'other.'

'I suppose, madam, that is one of the greatest evils of slavery. The low black poisons the mind of the white child, and the bad influence lasts through life.'

'Yas, it's so, stranger; an' it's the biggest keer I hev. It often 'pears strange ter me thet our grow'd up men arn't no wuss than the' is.'

In those few words, that unlettered woman had said what would—if men were but wise enough to hear and heed the great truth which she spoke—banish slavery from this continent forever!

After a while, the farmer told the juvenile delineator of Mrs. Hemans and the other poets to give us a song; and planting himself in the middle of the floor, the little darky sang 'Dixie' and several other negro songs, which his master had taught him, but into which he had introduced some amusing variations of his own. The other children joined in the choruses; and then Jim danced breakdowns, 'walk-along-Joes,' and other darky dances, his master accompanying him on a cracked fiddle, till my sides were sore with laughter, and the hostess begged them to stop. Finally the clock struck twelve, and the farmer, going to the door, gave a long, loud blast on a cow's horn. In about five minutes, one after another of the field hands came in, till the whole ten had seated themselves on the verandah. Each carried a bowl, a tin-cup, or a gourd, into which my host—who soon emerged from a back room[1] with a pail of whisky in his hand—poured a gill of the beverage. This was the day's allowance, and the farmer, in answer to a question of mine, told me he thought negroes were healthier and worked better for a small quantity of alcohol daily. 'The' work hard, and salt feed doan't set 'em up 'nough,' was his remark.

Meanwhile the hostess busied herself with preparations for dinner, and it was soon spread on a bright cherry table, covered by a spotless white cloth. The little darkies had scattered to the several cabins, and we soon sat down to as good a meal as I ever ate at the South.

We were waited on by a tidy negro woman, neatly clad in a calico gown, with shoes on her feet, and a flaming red and yellow kerchief on her head. This last was worn in the form of a turban, and one end escaping from behind and hanging down her back, it looked for all the world like a flag hung out from a top turret. Observing it, my host said:

'Aggy—showin' yer colors? Ye'r Union gal—hey?'

'Yas, I is dat, massa; Union ter de back-bone,' responded the negress, grinning widely.

'All th' Union ye knows on,' replied the master, winking slyly at me, 'is th' union yer goin' ter hitch up 'long with black Cale over ter Squire Taylor's.'

'No, 'tan't, massa; takes more'n tu ter make de Union.'

'Yas, I knows; it gin'rally takes ten or a dozen: reckon it'll take a dozen with ye.'[Pg 135]

'John, ye mustn't talk so ter th' sarvents; it spiles 'em,' said his wife.

'No it doan't; do it, Aggy?'

'Lor', missus, I doan't keer what massa say; but I doan't leff no oder man run on so ter me!'

'No more'n ye doan't, gal! only Cale.'

'Nor him, massa; I makes him stan' 'roun', I reckon.'

'I reckon ye du; ye wudn't be yer massa's gal ef ye didn't.'

When the meal was over, I visited with my host the negro houses. The hour allowed for dinner[2] was about expiring, and the darkies were preparing to return to the field. Entering one of the cabins, where were two stout negro men and a woman, my host said to them, with a perfectly serious face:

'Har, boys, I've fetched ye a live Yankee ab'lishener; now, luk at 'im all roun'. Did ye ever see sech a critter?'

'Doan't see nuffin' quar in dat gemman, massa,' replied one of the blacks. 'Him 'pears like bery nice gemman; doan't 'pear like ab'lishener;' and he laughed and scraped his head in the manner peculiar to the negro, as he added: 'Kinder reckon he wudn't be har ef he war one of dem.'

'What der ye knows 'bout th' ab'lisheners? Ye never seed one; what d'ye 'spose the' luk like?'

'Dey say dey luk likes de bery ole debil, massa; but reckon 'tan't so.'

'Wal, the' doan't; the' luk wuss then thet; they'm bottled up thunder an' lightnin', an' ef the' cum down har, they'll chaw ye all ter hash.'

'I reckon!' replied the darky, manipulating his wool and distending his face into a decidedly incredulous grin.

'What do you tell them such things for?' I asked good-humoredly.

'Lor' bless ye, stranger, the' knows th' ab'lisheners ar thar friends, jest so well as ye du; and so fur as thet goes, d—d ef the' doan't know I'm one on 'em myseff, fur I tells 'em ef the' want to put the' kin put, an' I'll throw thar trav'lin 'spenses inter th' bargin. Doan't I tell ye thet, Lazarus?'

'Yas, massa; but none ob massa's nigs am gwine ter put—lesswise, not so long as you an' de good missus am 'bove groun'.'

The darky's name struck me as peculiar, and I asked him where he got it.

''Tan't my name, sar; but you see, sar, w'en massa fuss hire me ob ole Capt'in ——, up dar ter Newbern-way, I war sort o' sorry like—hadn't no bery good cloes—an' massa he den call me Lazarus, 'case he say I war all ober rags and holes, an' it hab sort o' stuck ter me eber sense. I war a'mighty bad off 'fore dat, but w'en I cum down har I gets inter Abr'am's buzzum, I does,' and here the darky actually reeled on his seat with laughter.

'Is this woman your wife?' I asked.

'No, sar; my wife 'longs to Cunnel J——; dat am my new wife—my ole wife am up dar whar I cum from.'

'What! have you two wives?'

'Yas, massa, I'se two.'

'But that's contrary to Scripture?'

'No, sar; de Cunnel say 'tan't. He say in Scriptur' dey hab a heap ob 'em, and dat niggers kin hab jess so many as dey likes—a hun'red ef dey want ter.'

'Does the Colonel teach that to his negroes?' I asked, turning to the native.

'Yas, I reckon he do, an' sits 'em th' 'zample, too,' he replied, laughing; 'but th' old sinner knows better'n thet; he kin read.'

'Do you find that in the Bible, Lazarus?'

'Yas, massa, whar I reads it. Dat's whar it tell 'bout David and Sol'mon and all em—dey hab a heap ob wives. A pore ole darky karn't hab nuffin' 'sides dem, an' he orter be 'low'd jess so many as he likes.'

Laughing at the reasoning of the negro, I asked:

'How would you like it, if your wife over at Colonel J——'s had as many husbands as she liked?'

'Wal, I couldn't fine no fault, massa; an' I s'pose she do, dough I doan't knows it, 'case I'se dar only Sundays.'[Pg 136]

'Have you any children?'

'Yas, sar, Ise free 'longin' ter de Cunnel, an' four or five—I doan't 'zactly know—up ter hum; but dey'se grow'd up.'

'Is your wife up there married again?'

'Yas, massa, she got anoder man jess w'en I cum 'way; har ole massa make har do it.'

We then left the cabin, and when out of hearing of the blacks, I said to the corn-cracker: 'That may be Scripture doctrine, but I have not been taught so.'

'Scriptur' or no Scriptur', stranger, it's d——d heathenism,' replied the farmer, who, take him all in all, is a superior specimen of the class of small planters at the South; and yet, seeing polygamy practiced by his own slaves, he made no effort to prevent it. He told me that if he should object to his darky cohabiting with the Colonel's negress, it would be regarded as unneighborly, and secure him the enmity of the whole district! And still we are told that slavery is a divine institution!

After this, we strolled off into the woods, where the hands were at work.

They were all stout, healthy, and happy-looking, and in answer to my comments on their appearance, the native said that the negroes on the turpentine-farms are always stronger and longer-lived than those on the rice and cotton-fields. Unless carried off by the fevers incident to the climate, they generally reach a good old age, while the rice-negro seldom lives to be over forty, and the cotton-slave very rarely attains sixty. Cotton-growing, however, my host thought, is not, in itself, much more unhealthy than turpentine-gathering, though cotton-hands work in the sun, while the turpentine-slaves labor altogether in the shade.

'But,' he said, 'the' work 'em harder nor we does, an' doan't feed 'em so well. We give ourn meat and whisky ev'ry day, but them articles is skarse 'mong th' cotton blacks, an' th' rice niggers never get 'em excep' ter Christmas-time, an' thet cums but onst a yar.'

'Do you think the white could labor as well as the black, on the rice and cotton-fields?' I asked.

'Yas, an' better—better any whar; but, in coorse, 'tain't natur' fur black nor white ter stand long a workin' in th' mud and water up ter thar knees; sech work would kill off th' very devil arter a while. But th' white kin stand it longer nor the black, and it's 'cordin' ter reason that he shud; for, I reckon, stranger, that the spirit and pluck uv a man hev a durned sight ter du with work. They'll hole a man up when he's clean down, an' how kin we expec' thet th' pore nig, who's nary a thing ter work fur, an who's been kept under an' 'bused ever sense Adam was a young un'—how kin we expec' he'll work like men thet own 'emselfs, an' whose faders hev been free ever sense creation? I reckon that the parient has a heap ter du with makin' th' chile. He puts the sperit inter 'im: doan't we see it in hosses an' critters an' sech like? It mayn't crap eout ter onst, but it's shore ter in th' long run, and thet's th' way th' black han't no smarter nor he is. He's been a-ground down an' kept under fur so long thet it'll take more'n 'un gin'ration ter bring him up. 'Tan't his fault thet he's no more sperit, an' p'raps 'tan't ourn—thet is, them on us as uses 'em right—but it war the fault uv yer fader an' mine—yer fader stole 'em, and mine bought 'em, an' the' both made cattle uv 'em.'

'But I had supposed the black was better fitted by nature for hard labor, in a hot climate, than the white.'

'Wal, he arn't, an' I knows it. Th' d——d parsons an' pol'tishuns say thet, but 'tan't so. I kin do half agin more work in a day then th' best nig I've got, an' I've dun it, tu, time an' agin, an' it didn't hurt me nuther. Ye knows ef a man hev a wife and young 'uns 'pendin' on him, an' arn't much 'forehanded, he'll work like th' devil. I've dun it, an' ye hev ef ye war ever put ter it; but th' nigs, why, the' han't got no wives and young 'uns ter work fur—the law doan't 'low 'em ter have any—the' han't nary[Pg 137] a thing but thar carcasses, an' them's thar masters'.'

'You say a man works better for being free; then you must think 'twould be well to free the negroes.'

'In coorse, I does. Jest luk at them nigs o' mine; they're ter all 'tents an' purposes free, 'case I use 'em like men, an' the' knows the' kin go whenever the' d——d please. See how the' work—why, one on 'em does half as much agin as ony hard-driv' nigger in creation.'

'What would you do with them, if they were really free?'

'Du with 'em? why, hire 'em, an' make twice as much eout on 'em as I does now.'

'But I don't think the two races were meant to live together.'

'No more'n the' warn't. But 'tan't thar fault thet they's har. We han't no right to send 'em off. We orter stand by our'n an' our faders' doin's. The nig keers more fur his hum, so durned pore as it ar', then ye or I does fur our'n. I'd pack sech off ter Libraria or th' devil, as wanted ter go, but I'd hev no 'pulsion 'bout it.'

'Why, my good friend, you're half-brother to Garrison. You don't talk to your neighbors in this way?'

'Wal, I doan't;' he replied, laughing. 'Ef I dun it, they'd treat me to a coat uv tar, and ride me out uv th' deestrict raather sudden, I reckon; but yer a Nuthener, an' the' all take nat'rally ter freedum, excep' th' d——d doughfaces, an' ye aren't one on 'em, I'll swar.'

'Well, I'm not. Do many of your neighbors think as you do?'

'Reckon not many round har; but up in Cart'ret, whar I cum from, heaps on 'em do, though the' darn't say so.'

By this time we had reached the still, and directing his attention to the enormous quantity of rosin that had been run into the pit which I have spoken of, I asked him why he threw so much valuable material away.

'Wal, 'tan't wuth nothin' har. Thet's th' common, an' it won't bring in York, now, more'n a dollar forty-five. It costs a dollar an' two bits ter get it thar an' pay fur sellin on it, an' th' barr'l's wuth the difference. I doan't ship nuthin wuss no No. 2.'

'What is No. 2?'

He took the head from one of the barrels, and with an adze cut out a small piece, then handing me the specimen, replied:

'Now hole thet up ter th' sun. Ye'll see though it's yaller, its clean and clar. Thet's good No. 2, what brings now two dollars an' two bits in New-York, an' pays me 'bout a dollar a barr'l; it's got eout o' second yar dip, an' as it comes eout uv th' still, is run through thet ar strainer,' pointing to a coarse wire-sieve that lay near. 'Th' common rosum, thet th' still's runnin' on now, is made eout on th' yaller dip—thet's th' kine o' turpentine thet runs from th' tree arter two yar's tappin'—we call it yallar dip 'case it's allers dark. We doan't strain common 'tall, an' it's full uv chips and dirt. It's low now, but ef it shud ever git up, I'd tap thet ar' heap, barr'l it up, run a little fresh-stilled inter it, an' 'twould be a'most so good as new.'

'Then it is injured by being in the ground.'

'Not much; it's jest as good fur ev'ry thing but makin' ile, puttin' it in the 'arth sort o' takes th' sap eout on it, an' th' sap's th' ile. Natur' sucks thet eout, I s'pose, ter make th' trees grow—I expec' my bones 'ill fodder 'em one on these days.'

'Rosin is put to very many uses.'

'Yes, but common's used mainly for ile and soap; th' Yankees put it inter hard yaller soap, 'case it makes it weigh, an' yer folks is up ter them doin's, and he looked at me and gave a sly laugh. I could not deny the 'hard' impeachment, and said nothing. Taking a specimen of very clear light-colored rosin from a shelf in the still-house, I asked him what that quality was worth.

'Thet ar brought seven dollars for two hundred an' eighty pounds in York, airly this yar. It's th' very best No. 1; an' it's hard ter make, 'case ef th' still gets overhet it turns it a tinge. Thet sort is run through two sieves, the coarse[Pg 138] 'un, an' thet ar,' pointing to another wire strainer, the meshes of which were as fine as those of the flour-sieve used by housewives.

'Do your seven field-hands produce enough 'dip' to keep your still a running?'

'No, I buys th' rest uv my naboors who han't no stills; an' th' Cunnel's down on me 'case I pay 'em more'n he will; but I go on Franklin's princerpel: 'A nimble sixpence's better'n a slow shillin'. A great ole feller thet, warn't he? I've got his life.'

'And you practice on his precepts; that's the reason you've got on so well.'

'Yas, thet an' hard knocks. The best o' doctrins arn't wuth a d——n ef ye doan't work on 'em.'

'That is true.'

We shortly afterward went to the house, and there I passed several hours in conversation with my new friend and his excellent wife. The lady, after a while, showed me over the building. It was well-built, well-arranged, and had many conveniences I did not expect to find in a backwoods dwelling. She told me its timbers and covering were of well-seasoned yellow pine—which will last for centuries—and that it was built by a Yankee carpenter, whom they had ''ported' from Charleston, paying his fare, and giving him his living and two dollars and a half a day. It had cost as near as she 'cud reckon, 'bout two thousan' dollars.'

It was five o'clock, when, shaking them warmly by the hand, I bade my pleasant friends 'good-by,' and mounting my horse rode off to the Colonel's.

The family were at supper when I returned to the mansion, and, entering the room, I took my accustomed place at the table. None present seemed disposed to conversation. The little that was said was spoken in a low, subdued tone, and no allusion was made to the startling event of the day. At last the octoroon woman asked me if I had met Mrs. Barnes at the farmer's.

'Yes,' I replied, 'and I was greatly pleased with her. She seems one of those rare women who would lend grace to even the lowest station.'

'She is a rare woman; a true, sincere Christian. Every one loves her; but few know all her worth; only those do who have gone to her in sorrow and trial, as——' and her voice trembled, and her eyes moistened—— 'as I have.'

And so that poor, outcast, despised, dishonored woman, scorned and cast off by all the world, had found one sympathizing, pitying friend. Truly, 'He tempers the wind to the shorn lamb.'

When the meal was over, all but Madam P—— retired to the library. Tommy and I fell to reading, but the Colonel shortly rose and continued pacing up and down the apartment till the clock sounded eight. The lady then entered, and said to him:

'The negroes are ready, David; will you go, Mr. K——?'

'I think not, madam,' I replied; 'at least not now.'

I continued reading, for a time, when, tiring of the book, I laid it down, and followed them to the little burial-ground.

The grave of Sam was open, and the plantation blacks were gathered around it. In the centre of the group, and at the head of the rude coffin, the Colonel was seated, and near him the octoroon woman and her son. The old preacher was speaking.

'My chil'ren,' he said, 'she hab gone ter Him, wid har chile—gone up dar, whar dey doan't sorrer no more, whar dey doan't weep no more, whar all tears am wiped from dar eyes foreber. I knows she lay han's on harseff, and dat, my chil'ren, am whot none ob us shud do, 'case we'm de Lord's; he put us har, an' he'll take us 'way when we's fru wid our work, not afore. We hab no right ter gwo afore. Pore Juley did—but p'raps she cudn't help it. P'raps de great sorrer war so big in har heart, dat she cudn't fine rest nowhar but in de cole, dark riber. P'raps she warn't ter blame—p'raps,' and here his eyes filled—'p'raps ole Pomp war all ter blame, fur I tole har, my chil'ren'—he could say no more, and sinking down on[Pg 139] a rude seat, he covered his face, and sobbed audibly. Even the Colonel's strong frame heaved with emotion, and not a dry eye was near. After a time the old man rose again, and with streaming eyes, and upturned face, continued:

'Dar's One up dar, my chil'ren, dat say: 'Come unter me, all ye dat am weary an' a heaby laden, an' I will gib you ress.' He, de good Lord, he say dat; an' p'raps Juley hard him say it, an' dat make har gwo.' Again his voice failed, and he sank down, weeping and moaning as if his heart would break.

A pause followed, when the Colonel rose, and aided by Jim and two other blacks, with his own hands nailed down the lid, and lowered the rude coffin into the ground. Then the earth was thrown upon it, and then the long, low chant which the negroes raise over the dead, mingling now with sobs and moans, and breaking into a strange wild wail, went up among the pines, and floating off on the still night air, echoed through the dark woods, till it sounded like music from the grave. I have been in the chamber of the dying; I have seen the young and the beautiful laid away in the earth; but I never felt the solemn awfulness of death as I did when, in the stillness and darkness of night, I listened to the wild grief of that negro group, and saw the bodies of that slave mother and her child, lowered to their everlasting rest by the side of Sam.

The morning broke bright and mellow with the rays of the winter sun, which in Carolina lends the warmth of October to the chills of January, when, with my portmanteau strapped, and my thin overcoat on my arm, I gave my last 'God bless you' to the octoroon woman, and turned my face toward home.

Jim shouted, 'All ready,' the driver cracked his whip, and we were on our way to Georgetown.

The recent rains had hardened the roads, the bridges were repaired, and we were whirled rapidly forward, and at one o'clock reached Bucksville. There we met a cordial welcome, and remained to dinner. Our host pressed us to pass the night at his house, but the Colonel had business with one of his secession friends residing down the road—my wayside acquaintance, Colonel A——, and desired to stay over night with him. At three o'clock, bidding a kindly farewell to Captain B—— and his excellent family, we were again on our way.

The sun was just sinking among the western pines, when we turned into a broad avenue, lined with stately old trees, and rode up to the doorway of the rice-planter. It was a large, square, dingy old house, seated on a gentle knoll, a short half-mile from the river, along whose banks stretched the rice-fields. We entered, and were soon welcomed by its proprietor.

He received my friend warmly, and gave me a courteous greeting, remarking, when I mentioned that I was homeward bound, that it was wise to go. 'Things are very unsettled; there's no telling what a day may bring forth; feeling is running very high, and a Northern man, whatever his principles, is not safe here. By the way,' he added, 'did you not meet with some little obstruction at Conwayboro, on your way up?'

'Yes, I did; a person there ordered me back, but when things began to look serious, Scipio, the negro whom you saw with me, got me out of the hobble.'

'Didn't he tell the gentleman that you were a particular friend of mine, and had met me by appointment at Captain B——'s?' he asked, smiling.

'I believe he did, sir; but I assure you, I said nothing of the kind, and I think the black should not be blamed, under the circumstances.'

'Oh! no; I don't blame him. I think he did a smart thing. He might have said you were my grandmother, if it would have served you, for that low fellow is as fractious as the devil, and dead sure on the trigger.'

'You are very good, sir,' I replied; 'how did you hear of it?'

'A day or two afterward, B—— passed here on his way to Georgetown. I had been riding out, and happened to be at the head of my avenue when he[Pg 140] was going by. He stopped, and asked if I knew you. Not knowing then the circumstances, I said that I had met you casually at Bucksville, but had no particular acquaintance with you. He rode on, saying nothing further. The next morning I had occasion to go to Georgetown, and at Mr. Fraser's office accidentally heard that Scip—who is well known and universally liked there—was to have a public whipping that evening. Something prompted me to inquire into it, and I was told that he had been charged by B—— with shielding a well-known abolitionist at Conwayboro—a man who was going through the up-country distributing such damnable publications as the New-York Independent and Tribune. I knew, of course, it referred to you, and that it wasn't true. I went to Scip and got the facts, and by stretching the truth a little, finally got him off. There was a slight discrepancy between my two accounts of you,' (and here he laughed heartily,) 'and B——, when we were before the Justice, remarked on it, and came d——d near calling me a liar. It was lucky he didn't, for if he had he'd gone to h——l before the place was hot enough for him.'

'I can not tell you, my dear sir, how grateful I am to you for this. It would have pained me more than I can express, if Scip had suffered for doing a disinterested kindness to me.'

Early in the morning we were again on our way, and twelve o'clock found us seated at a dinner of bacon, corn-bread, and waffles, in the 'first hotel' of Georgetown. The Charleston boat was to leave at three o'clock; and, as soon as dinner was over, I sallied out to find Scip. After a half-hour's search I found him on 'Shackelford's wharf,' engaged in loading a schooner bound for New-York with a cargo of cotton and turpentine.

He was delighted to see me, and after I told him I was going home, and might never see him again, I took his hand warmly in mine, and said:

'Scip, I have heard of the disgrace that was near being put upon you on my account, and I feel deeply the disinterested service you did to me; now, I can not go away without doing something for you—showing you in some way that I appreciate and like you.'

'I likes you, massa,' he replied, the tears coming to his eyes; 'I tuk ter you de bery fuss day I seed you, 'case, I s'pose'—and he wrung my hand till it ached—'you pitied de pore brack man. But you karnt do nuffin fur me, massa; I doan't want nuffin; I doan't want ter leab har, 'case de Lord dat put me har arn't willin' I shud gwo. But you kin do suffin, massa, fur de pore brack man, an' dat'll be doin' it fur me, 'case my heart am all in dat. You kin tell dem folks up dar, whar you lib, massa, dat we'm not like de brutes, as dey tink we is. Dat we's got souls, an' 'telligence, an' feelin's, an' am men like demselfs. You kin tell 'em, too, massa—'case you's edication, and kin talk—how de pore wite man am kep' down har; how he'm ragged, an' starvin', an' ob no account, 'case de brack man am a slave. How der chil'ren can't get no schulein', how eben de grow'd-up ones doan't know nuffin—not eben so much as de pore brack slave, 'case de 'stockracy want dar votes, an cudn't get 'em ef dey 'low'd 'em larnin'. Ef your folks know'd all de truf—ef dey know'd how boff de brack an' de pore w'ite man, am on de groun', an' can't git up, ob demselfs—dey'd do suffin—dey'd break de Constertution—dey'd do suffin ter help us. I doan't want no one hurted, I doan't want no one wronged; but jess tink ob it, massa, four million ob bracks, an' nigh so many pore w'ites, wid de bressed Gospil shinin' down on 'em, an' dey not knowin' on it. All dem—ebry one ob 'em—made in de image ob de great God, an' dey driven roun' an' 'bused wuss dan de brutes. You's seed dis, massa, wid your own eyes, an' you kin tell 'em on it; an' you will tell 'em on it, massa;' and again he took my hand while the tears rolled down his cheeks; 'an' Scip will bress you fur it, massa—wid his bery lass breaf he'll bress you; an' de good Lord will bress you, too, massa; he will foreber bress you, for[Pg 141] he'm on de side ob de pore an' de 'flicted; his own book say dat, an' it am true, I knows it, fur I feels it har;' and he laid his hand on his heart, and was silent.

I could not speak for a moment. When I mastered my feelings, I said: 'I will do it Scip; as God gives me strength, I will.'

Reader, I am keeping my word.

This is not a work of fiction. It is a record of facts, and therefore the reader will not expect me to dispose of its various characters on artistic principles—that is, lay them away in one of those final receptacles for the creations of the romancer—the grave and matrimony. Death has been among them, but nearly all are yet doing their work in this breathing, busy world.

The characters I have introduced are real. They are not drawn with the pencil of fancy, nor, I trust, colored with the tints of prejudice. The scenes I have described are true. I have taken some liberties with the names of persons and places, and, in a few instances, altered dates; but the events themselves occurred under my own observation. No one acquainted with the section of country I have described, or familiar with the characters I have delineated, will question this statement. Lest some one who has not seen the slave and the poor white man of the South, as he actually is, should deem my picture overdrawn, I will say that 'the half has not been told!' If the whole were related—if the Southern system, in all its naked ugliness, were fully exposed—the truth would read like fiction, and the baldest relation of fact like the wildest dream of romance.

The overseer was never taken. A letter which I received from Colonel J——, shortly prior to the stoppage of the mails, informed me that Moye had succeeded in crossing the mountains into Tennessee, where, in an interior town, he disposed of the horse, and then made his way by an inland route to the free States. The horse the Colonel had recovered, but the overseer he never expected to see. Moye is now, no doubt, somewhere in the North, and is probably at this present writing a zealous Union man, of somewhat the same 'stripe' as the conductors of the New-York Herald and the Boston Courier.

I have not heard directly from Scipio, but one day last July, after a long search, I found on one of the wharves of South street a coasting captain who knew him well, and who had seen him the month previous at Georgetown. He was at that time pursuing his usual avocations, and was as much respected and trusted as when I met him.

A few days after the tidings of the fall of Sumter were received in New-York, and when I had witnessed the spontaneous and universal uprising of the North which followed that event, I dispatched letters to several of my Southern friends, giving them as near as I could an account of the true state of feeling here, and representing the utter madness of the course the South was pursuing. One of these letters went to my Union acquaintance whom I have called, in the preceding pages, 'Andy Jones.'

He promptly replied, and a pretty regular correspondence ensued between us, which has continued, at intervals, even since the suspension of intercourse between the North and the South.

Andy has stood firmly and nobly by the old flag. At the risk of every thing, he has boldly expressed his sentiments every where. With his life in his hand and—a revolver in each of his breeches-pockets, he walked the streets of Wilmington when the secession fever was at its hight, openly proclaiming his undying loyalty to the Union, and 'no man dared gainsay him.'

But with all his patriotism, Andy keeps a bright eye on the 'main chance.' Like his brother, the Northern Yankee, whom he somewhat resembles and greatly admires, he never omits an opportunity of 'turning an honest penny.' In defiance of custom-house regulations and of our strict blockade, he has carried[Pg 142] on a more or less regular traffic with New-York and Boston (via Halifax and other neutral ports) ever since North-Carolina seceded. His turpentine, while it was still his property, has been sold in the New-York market, under the very eyes of the government officials, and, honest reader, I have known of it.

By various roundabout means, I have recently received letters from him. His last, dated in April, and brought to a neutral port by a shipmaster whom he implicitly trusts, has reached me since the previous chapters were written. It covers six pages of foolscap, and is written in defiance of all grammatical and orthographical principles; but as it conveys important intelligence in regard to some of the persons mentioned in this narrative, I will transcribe a portion of it.

It gave me the melancholy tidings of the death of Colonel J——. He had joined the Confederate army, and fell, bravely meeting a charge of the Massachusetts troops, at Roanoke.

On receiving the news of his friend's death, Andy rode over to the plantation, and found Madam P—— plunged in the deepest grief. While he was there, a letter arrived from Charleston, with intelligence of the dangerous illness of her son. This second blow crushed her. For several days she was delirious and her life despaired of; but throughout the whole, the noble corn-cracker, neglecting every thing, remained beside her.

When she returned to herself, and had in a measure recovered her strength, she learned that the Colonel had left no will; that she was still a slave, and soon to be sold, with the rest of the Colonel's personal property, according to law.

This is what Andy writes about the affair. I give the letter as he wrote it, merely correcting the punctuation and enough of the spelling to make it intelligible:

'W'en I hard thet th' Cunnel hadent leff no wil, I was hard put what ter dew; but arter thinkin' on it over a spell, I knowed shede har on it sumhow; so I 'cluded to tell har miseff. She tuk on d——d hard at fust, but arter a bit, grew more calm like, and then she sed it war God's wil, an' she wudent komplane. Ye knows I've got a wife, but w'en the ma'am sed thet, she luk'd so like an angel, thet d——d eff I cud help puttin' my arms round har, an' huggin' on har, till she a'moste screeched. Wal, I toled har I'd stan' by har, eff evrithing went ter h——l, an' I wil, by——.

'I made up mi minde to onst what ter dew. It war darned harde work tur bee 'way from hum jess then, but I war in fur it; soe I put ter Charleston, ter see th' Cunnel's 'oman. Wal, I seed har, an' I toled har how th' ma'am felte, an' how mutch shede dun at makein' th' Cunnel's money, (she made nigh th' hul on it, 'case he war alers keerles, an' tuk no 'count uv things; eff 't'aden't been fur thet, hede made a wil,) an' I axed har ter see thet the ma'am had free papers ter onst. An' whot der ye s'poze she sed? Nuthin', by ——, 'cept she dident no nuthin' 'bout bisniss, an' leff all uv sech things ter har loryer. Wal, then I went ter him—he ar one on them slick, ily, seceshun houn's who'd sell thar soles fur a kountterfit dollar—an' he toled me th' 'ministratur hadent sot yit, an' he cudent dew nuthin' till he hed. Ses I: 'Ye mean th' 'oman's got ter gwo ter th' hi'est bider?' 'Yas,' he sed, 'the Cunnel's got dets, an' the've got ter bee pade, an' th' persoonal prop'ty muste bee sold ter dew it.' Then I sed, 'twud bee sum time 'fore thet war dun, an' the 'oman's 'most ded an uv no use now; 'what'll ye hire har tur me fur.' He said a hun'red fur sicks months. I planked down the money ter onst, an' put off.

'I war bilin' over, but it sumhow cum inter my hed thet the Cunnel's 'oman cudn't bee all stun; so I gose thar agin, an' I toled har what the loryer sed, an' made a reg'lar stump-'peal tew har bettur natur. I axed har ef she'd leff the 'oman who'd made har husban's fortun', who war the muther uv his chil'ren, who fur twenty yar hed nussed him in sick[Pg 143]ness an' cheered him in healtf, ef shede let thet 'oman bee auckyund off ter th' hi'est bider. I axed al thet, an' what der ye think she sed? Why, jest this. 'I doan't no nuthin' 'bout it, Mister Jones. Ye raily must talke ter mi loryer; them matters I leaves 'tirely ter him.' Then I sed I s'posed the niggers war ter bee advertist. 'O yas!' she sed, (an' ye see she know'd a d——d site 'bout thet,) 'all on 'em muss bee solde, 'case ye knows I never did luv the kuntry; 'sides I cuden't karry on the plantashun, no how.' Then sed I: 'The Orleans traders 'ill be thar, an' she wun't sell fur but one use, fur she's hansum yit; an' ma'am, ye wun't leff a 'oman as white as you is, who fur twenty yar hes ben a tru an' fatheful wife tar yer own ded husban', (I shudn't hev put thet in, but d——d ef I cud help it,) ye wun't put har up on the block, an' hev har struck down ter the hi'est bider, ter bee made a d——d —— on?'

'Wal, I s'pose she haden't forgot thet fur more'n twelve yar the Cunnel hed luv'd t'other 'oman an' onely liked har; fur w'en I sed thet, har ize snapped like h——l, an' she screetched eout thet she dident 'low no sech wurds in har hous', an' ordurd me ter leave. Mitey sqeemish thet, warn't it? bein' as shede been fur so mony yar the Cunnel's ——, an' th' tuther one his raal wife.

'Wal, I did leav'; but I leff a piece of mi mind ahind. I toled har I'de buy thet ar 'oman ef she cost all I war wuth and I had ter pawne my sole ter git the money; an' I added, jest by way uv sweet'nin' the pill, thet I owed all I hed ter har husband, an' dident furget my dets ef she did hern, an' ef his own wife disgraced him, I'd be d——d ef I wud.

'Wal, I've got th' ma'am an' har boy ter hum, an' my 'oman hes tuk ter har a heep. I doan't no w'en the sale's ter cum off, but ye may bet hi' on my bein' thar, an' I'll buy har ef I hev ter go my hull pile on har, an' borrer th' money fur ole Pomp. But he'll go cheap, 'case the Cunnel's deth nigh dun him up. It clean killed Ante Lucey. She never held her hed up arter she heerd 'Masser Davy' war ded, fur she sot har vary life on him. Don't ye feel consarned 'bout the ma'am—I knows ye sot hi' on har. I'll buy har shore. Thet an' deth ar th' onely things thet I knows on, in this world, jess now, that ar Sartin.'

Such is Andy's letter. Misspelled and profane though it be, I would not alter a word or a syllable of it. It deserves to be written in characters of gold and hung up in the sky, where it might be read by all the world. And it is written in the sky—in the great record book—and it will be read when you and I, reader, meet the assembled universe, to give account of what we have done and written. God grant that our record may show some such deed as that!


[1] The whisky was kept in a back room, above ground, because the dwelling had no cellar. The fluid was kept safely under lock and key, and the farmer accounted for that by saying that his negroes would steal nothing but whisky. Few country houses at the South have a cellar—that apartment deemed so essential by Northern housekeepers. The intervening space between the ground and the floor is there left open, to allow of a free circulation of air.

[2] No regular dinner-hour is allowed the blacks on most turpentine-plantations. Their food is usually either taken with them to the woods or carried there by house-servants, at stated times.


The right to poison bullets,
The right to rifle graves,
To cut our prisoners' gullets,
Or treat them like our slaves;
The right to use the savage
To aid us in our fight,
To freely scalp and ravage,
Each is a Southern right.
Call not these claims Satanic,
They're far beyond your ken:
How can a low mechanic
Know aught of gentlemen?
[Pg 144]




With that wise foresight, shared by all European rulers, the Roman Pincio was undoubtedly wedded to its purpose of keeping the idle ones very busy at the very time of day when revolutionary plots find the best hearing—before dinner. Whirling around its walks in carriages, or gently promenading under trees, among rose-bushes, and by fountains, while a large band of musicians play with spirit fine selections from the last operas, or favorite airs from old ones; the eye gratified by the sight of pleasant faces, or dwelling enraptured on the beautiful landscape spread before it—how can the brain disengage itself to think of Liberty, won through toil and battle, only to be preserved by self-denial and moral strength?

But the traveler who travels only to travel, and has the means and spirit to find pleasure wherever he goes, thinking only of what he sees, enjoys to its fullest extent the luxurious seat of the hired, white-damask-lined carriage, drawn by stalwart, heavy-limbed, coal-black horses, with sweeping tails, the white foam flying from the champed silver bits, the whole turn-out driven by a handsome, white-gloved, black-coated Roman. In solemn state and swiftly, he winds up the zig-zag road leading from the piazza Popolo, (so-called from popolo, a poplar-tree, and not as the English will have it, from popolo, the people,) and at last reaches the summit of Roman ambition—the top of the Pincian hill. He passes other carriages filled with other strangers like himself, or with titled and fashionable Romans, and finally, his carriage drawn up to one side of the broad drive in front of the semi-circle where the band plays, he descends, to walk around and chat with the friends he may find there.

Toward sunset the scene is full of animation. The sabres of the cavalry soldiers, on guard to prevent infraction of rules, gleam brightly; the old infantry soldiers are darting here and there, chasing away sundry ownerless dogs, who always make it a point to promenade the Pincio; the Italian nurses from Albano, or at least dressed in Albanese costume, shine conspicuous in their crimson-bodiced dresses; Englishmen going through their constitutional; Frenchmen mourning for the Champs Elysées; artists in broad-brim hats smoking cigars; Americans observing Italy, so as to be like Italians; ladies of all nations commanding the attention of mankind as they sweep along the hard-rolled gravel-walks; smiles, bows, looks of love, indignation, affection, coquetry; faces reflective of great deeds and greater dinners ... every face bright in the lambent amber light that streams from the sun dipping his head preparatory to putting on his night-cap, and bidding Rome felicissima notte! a most happy night.

Over the irregular walls of the subdued white and mellow gray houses and palaces, beyond the Tiber running red in the dying sunlight, over the round-walled castle of San Angelo, the dome of Saint Peter's rises full in the midst of the twinkling, hazy, red and golden light. Passing the stone-pines crowning Monte Mario, there gleam away to the left the far waters of the sea, over which the purple mist of young night tenderly, softly falls. Once thoughtfully noted, you will remember this glowing scene years after sublimer and wilder views are lost to memory or grown so faint that they are to you but as dull colors seen in dreams of old age compared to the flashing brightness of those presented to the closed eyes of youth.

As the sun sets and those in carriages and on foot slowly leave the hights of[Pg 145] the Pincio, and descend once more to the old city, you will hear, as the evening star shines brighter and brighter, the first liquid, thrilling notes of the nightingales; then as you lean over the stone parapet, dreamily looking into the dense foliage of trees and shrubs beneath you, you will feel the beauty of those lines:

Seek the nightingale's sequestered tower,
Who with her love-lorn melody
So bewitched thee in the vernal hour:
When she ceased to love, she ceased to be.

It is from the months of May to November, when travelers have left Rome, and the city is in the hands of the Romans, that your walks on the Pincio will prove something more than a mere repetition of a stroll in Baden-Baden, or a revival of ideas common to the Prado or Prater. No longer the little prettinesses of the Medicean Venus flirt by you in the nervous silks that flutter along these walks, but something nobly womanly, of a solid past, slow and stately, moves solemnly, by. We know the lives of these copies of the Venus of Milos, we know its most commonplace and vulgar attributes, but we know, too, its strength! The city of Rome holds in its women the mothers of heroes, when Providence shall withdraw the black veil now hung over their rude minds, and let in the light of knowledge. We who laugh at their sad ignorance, think what we would be without liberty—our minds enslaved, geography tabooed! Egypt is a paradise compared to Rome.

The advantages of foreign travel to an intelligent American are to teach him ... the disadvantages of living any where save in America. And though the artistic eye dwells with such loving repose on the soothing colors of Italy, and particularly on the subdued white and gray tones of Roman ruins and palaces, walls and houses, yet the owner of that artistic eye should restrain his wrath at the fiery red bricks of our own cities, for let him reflect that this color goads him on, as it doth a bull, to make valorous efforts—to do something!

Looking down from the stone balustrade of the Pincio on the piazza Popolo, we note two churches, one on either side of the Corso; their architecture is neither more nor less hideous than nine tenths of the other three hundred and odd churches of Rome; the same heavy, half-cooked look about doors and windows, suggesting cocked-hats of the largest size on the heads of dwarfs of no size at all; the same heavy scroll-work, reminding one of the work of a playful giant of a green-grocer who has made a bouquet of sausages and cabbages, egg-plants and legs of mutton, and exhibits it to a thick-headed public as a—work of art. O Roman Plebs! lay this nattering unction to your soul—we did not do that!

The history of all nations seem to indicate successive ages of grub and butterfly-life; certainly Rome has been a grub long enough. Let us hope the sun of Victor Emmanuel, the King of Gallant Men, will hasten the time when the Romans shall wing their way to the light of Liberty. These mockeries of architecture shall then stand as warning fingers to the Romans of the sad days that were; the days when mind and body were enslaved, and the grinning monkey held the dove tight-clutched in his brutal grasp. Through sword and fire public taste must pass before it is purified: the mountain-stream, dashing along with bounding steps, is clear and sparkling, but in the long stretch of level pastureland or prairie it is still and—dirty.

It may be well to descend and wander through those close and narrow streets where the waste-water of old Roman aqueducts makes green and damp the foundation stories of gloomy houses, and where the carefully-nurtured traveler sees sights of smoked interiors, dirt and rubbish in the streets, that terrify him; but let him remember that in the worst of these kennels the inhabitants have never forgotten that they had a Past, and the 'I am a Roman Citizen!' still rings in their ears, eats into their hearts, and is at their tongue's end. Monsieur About was in Rome when Caper was there; he saw these Romans through Napoleonic spectacles: while one foot[Pg 146] was trying to stamp on Antonelli gently, the other was daintily ascending the shining steps leading to the temple of Gallic fame. He is impressed with the idea that the Romans are hangers-on of hangers-on to patricians, from which we are to infer, if the patricians are ever hung, there will be a heavy weight to their feet!

Rocjean, one afternoon, after a walk on the Pincio, was returning to his studio, when, as he descended to the Via Babuino, he met a Roman artist named Attonito, who cultivated the English.

'Ow arr you toe-day, my dear?' he asked Rocjean.

'Quite well, except a slight attack of bad English, from which I hope to recover in a few minutes.'

'Pray tell unto me th-hat weech is bad Englis.'

'Haven't you been on the Pincio?'

'Yas, I tak' consteetutionails up there avery afternoons; it is a costume Englis' th-hat I vary moche cotton to.'...

'W-hat! Cotton to? Why, that is a clear Americanism; where did you pick it up?'

'Meester Caper of Noo-York, he told unto me it am more elegant as to say, I love, or I affection. Bote, 'ave you saw that bu-tee-fool creechure with 'air of flags?'...


''Air of flags; 'ow you name eet? Capellatura di lino?'

'Oh! you mean tow-head?'

'Toe! no, no! I mean lino.'

'Ah! yes, flaxen hair.'

'Benissimo! Vary well, flagson 'air and blue eyze. Shhe was in carri-adge with Lady Blumpudy. I go avery afternoons to inspect her as she takes the airs on the Pincio, Eet would gife me great pleasures to ally myself to her in marriage compact, bote I do not know eef she has a fortune. Do you know any theengs?'

'Yes, a great many; one of which is that it is my dinner-time, and as I turn down the Condotti—good afternoon.'

'Goo-ood by, my dear,' answered Attonito, as he slowly wandered up the Piazza di Spagna.

Another example of the beneficial effects of the Pincio on the bourgeoise, thought Rocjean. When will the alarm-bell in the clock of Roman time ring out its awaking peal?


If one would realize the romantic side of Rome in all its stately grandeur, and receive a solemn and ineffaceable impression of its beauty, by all means let him, like Quevedo's hero, sleep 'a-daytime' and do his sight-seeing by moonlight or star-light; for, save in some few favored quarters, its inspection by gaslight would be difficult. Remember, too, that all that is grandly beautiful of Rome, the traveler has seen before he reaches the Imperial City—with the eyes of understanding, with the eyes of others—in books.

Nothing but a heap of old stones, bricks, and mortar is there here for the illiterate tourist—he can have six times as jolly a time in Paris for half the money that he pays 'in that old hole where a fellow named Culius Jæsar used to live.'

As if the night were not sufficiently dark in this city, there are always those who stand ready with the paint-brush of fancy to make it even of a darker hue; whisperings among the travelers in hotels of certain Jim Joneses or Bill Smiths who have been robbed. Yes, sir, early in the evening, right there in the Corso: grabbed his watch and chain, struck him on the head. You know he was a powerfully built man; but they came behind him, and if he hadn't have done so and so, the rascally Italians would have killed him, and so forth.

'Re-al-ly; well, you won't catch me out at nights!'

There rises up, as I write, the figure of a slim young man, of the day-time negro-minstrel style of beauty, who once dwelt three weeks in Rome. I know that he was profound in knowledge of trick and vice, and that he had an impediment in his speech—he could never[Pg 147] speak the truth. He told a fearful tale of a midnight robbery in the Piazza di Spagna—himself the victim. It was well told, and I ought to know, for I read it years before in a romance, only the scene was, in type, laid in Venice. According to this negro-minstrel style of youth, he had been seized from behind, held, robbed of watch and elegant gold chain, red coral shirt-studs, onyx sleeve-buttons, and a porte-monnaie containing fifty scudi, etc., etc. He was the theatrical hero of the hotel for two days, and the recipient of many drinks. Time, the cater of things, never digested this falsehood, and months after the youth had left, I learned that he had lost all his jewelry and money at—twenty-deck poker.

A few nights after Caper was domiciled in the Via Babuino, Rocjean called on him, and as he entered his room, carefully extinguished a taper, and was putting it in his pocket, when Caper asked him what that was for?

'That! it's a cerina. Have you been two weeks in Rome, and not found out that? Why, how did you get up-stairs at night?'

'There was a lamp in the entry.'

'None there to-night, so I had to light this. It's only a long piece of wick, dipped in wax; you see you can roll it up in a ball, and carry it in your pocket, so! Without this and a box of matches, you can never hope to be a good Roman. You must have seen that where the houses have any front-doors, three quarters of them are open all night long; for, as on every floor of a house, there live different families, they find it saves trouble—trouble is money in Rome—to leave the door unclosed. These dark entries, for they are seldom lighted, offer a grand chance for intrigues, and when you have lived here as long as I have, you will find out that they—improve the chances. A cerina, in addition to keeping you from breaking your neck, by tumbling down stone stairs, gives light to avoid the stray dogs that sleep around loose, and to see if there is any enemy around who wants to give you a few inches of cold steel. You may laugh at robbers here; but you may cry for mercy in vain to a Roman who seeks vendetta—revenge, you know. Bad way to use foreign words; but we all do it here. Speak an Italianized English after a time, the effect of had examples. But come, if you want to see Rome by moonlight, it's time we were off.'

As they reached the street, Caper asked Rocjean where he could buy the cerina.

'At any dragheria' said the latter.

'Good, there is a druggist's store up the street—Borioni's.'

'A dragheria means a grocery-store in Rome. If you want molasses, however, you must go to the farmacia for it, [that is the Roman for druggist's shop,] and you will buy it by the ounce.'

'Live and learn,' said Caper, as they entered the grocery and bought the cerina-price, one baioccho a yard.

'And now let us walk out to Saint Peter's, and see the church by moonlight.'

'The want of sidewalks in this city,' remarked Rocjean, 'compelling the Romans to walk over cobble-stones, undoubtedly is the cause of the large feet of the women, added to their dislike of being in pain from tight shoes or boots. For genuine martyrdom from tight shoes, French, Spanish, and Americans—but chiefly Cubans—next to Chinese women, are ahead of the world.'

'But apart from the fact that they do walk on the narrow sidewalks in the Corso, I have noticed that in the side-streets, even where there is a foot-walk, nobody takes advantage of it at night.'

'For a good reason, as we shall probably see,' said Rocjean,' before we reach the bridge of San Angelo. But keep close to me in the middle of the street.'

The moonlight shone brightly down the narrow street they were then walking through, which, but for this, the occasional dim light of an oil-lamp hung in front of a shrine, the light from a wine or grocery shop, and the ruddy blaze of a charcoal-fire, where chestnuts were roasting for sale, would have been[Pg 148] dark indeed. The ground-floor of very few Roman houses is ever occupied as a dwelling-place; it is given up to shops, stables, etc., the families residing, according to their wealth, on the lowest up to the highest stories; the light purses going up and the heavy ones sinking. They had walked nearly to the end of this street, when, happening to look up at the fourth story of a house, he saw something white being reversed in the moonlight, and the next instant a long stream of water, reminding him of the horse-tail fall in Switzerland, came splashing down where a sidewalk should have been.

'What do you think of the middle of the street now?' asked Rocjean.

'Let's stick to it, even if we stick in it. I'm going to buy an umbrella, and spread it too, when I go out of nights, after this.'

They reached the bridge of San Angelo, and studied for a short time the fine effect of the moonlight shining on the turbid, slow-flowing Tiber, and lighting up the heavy pile of the castle of San Angelo. Then they reached the Piazza of Saint Peter's, and here the scene was imperial. Out and in through the semi-circular arcade of massive pillars the moonlight stole to sleep upon the soft-toned, gray old pavement, or was thrown in dancing, sparkling light from the two noble jets of water tossed in the clear night-air by the splashing fountains. In all its gigantic proportions rose up, up into the clear blue of the spangled sky, the grand thought of Michael Angelo—the dome of Saint Peter's.

Returning from Saint Peter's, Rocjean proposed to walk through the Trastevere, the other side of the Tiber, and to cross over the river by the ponte Rótto or broken bridge. They found the street along the river very quiet; here and there a light showed, as on the other side, a wine-shop or coffee-room; but the houses had few lights in them, and spite of the moonlight, the streets looked gloomy and desolate.

'They seem to keep dark this side of the river,' said Caper.

'Yes,' answered Rocjean, 'and live light. They go to bed for the most part early, and rise early; they economize fifty-one weeks in a year, in order to live like lords for the fifty-second—that is Carnival-week. Then you shall see these queenly Trasteverine in all their bravery, thronging the Corso. But here is a clean-looking wine-shop, let us go in and have a foglietta.'

They found the shop full of thirsty Romans—it is safe to say that—although the number of small flasks showed they could not indulge their taste so deeply as they wished to. The centre of the listening group of Romans, was a bright-eyed, black, curly-haired man, who was reciting, with loud emphasis:




Who slew nine hundred and sixty-four grown persons and six children.

He had already got through his birth and wicked childhood, and had arrived at that impressive part where he commences his career of brigand at large, accompanied by a 'bool-dog':

'He had a bull-dog of the English breed, oh!
More savage than all others that we've seen, oh!
Close at his side it always walked, indeed, oh!
And never barked! but then his bite was keen, oh!
When on some poor man straight he sprung, take heed, oh!
His soul from body quickly fled, I ween, oh!
Because with cruel, gnashing teeth he tore, oh!
Him all to pieces, in a manner sore, oh!'

The reciter here stopped to drink another tumbler of wine, upon which Caper and Rocjean, having finished their pint, paid their scot and departed.

'Was that an improvisatore?' asked Caper.

'He might pass for such with a stranger of inflammable imagination, who didn't know the language,' answered[Pg 149] Rocjean. 'He is, in fact, a reciter, and you can buy the poh, poh-em he was reciting at any of the country fairs, of the man who sells rosaries and crucifixes. It is one of the cent-songs of the Papal States, published con licenza, with license; and a more cruel, disgusting, filthy, and demoralizing tendency than it must have on the people can not well be imagined; and there are hundreds of worse.'

While Rocjean was talking they had crossed the ponte Rótto, and as he finished his sentence they stood in front of the ruined house of—Cola di Rienzil, 'Redeemer of dark centuries of shame—the hope of Italy, Rienzi, last of Romans!'

'Well,' said Rocjean, as he halted in front of the ruined house, and looked carefully at the ornamented stones still left, 'when Saint Peter's church shall be a circus, this house shall be a shrine.'

'That being the state of the case,' spoke Caper, 'let us walk up to the Trevi fountain and see the effect by moonlight of its flashing waters, and inhale the flavor of fried fish from the adjacent stands.'

They stood in front of the wild waters dashing, sparkling over the grand mass of tumbled rocks reared behind the wall of a large palace. Neptune, car, horses, tritons, all, stone as they were, seemed leaping into life in the glittering rays of the moonlight, and the rush and splash of the waters in the great basin below the street, contrasted with the silence of the city, left a deep impression of largeness and force on the minds of the two artists.

'Let us go down and drink the water, for he who drinks of it shall return again to Rome!'

'With all my heart,' said Caper; 'for if the legend has one word of truth in it, Garibaldi will be back again some bello giorno——'

'Bello giorno means fine day; giorno di bello means a day for war: I drink to both!' spoke Rocjean, dipping water up in his hand.

They returned to the street, and were walking toward the Piazza di Spagna, when they overtook two well-dressed men evidently none the better for too much wine. As they passed them, one of the men said to the other:

'J-im! I don't see but what we-we-'ll have to r-r-roost out-tall night. I don't know 'ny 'talian, you don't know 'ny 'talian, we-we-'re nonpl'sh'd, I'm th-think'ng.'

'Ary borry boutére spikinglish?' said the other one to the two artists, as they were walking on.

'Yes,' said Caper, 'four of 'em. If you've lost your way we'll set you right. Where's your hotel?'

''Tel? Why, 'Tel Europe p'aza Spanya. Are you English?'

'No, sir! I'm an American born, bred and—buttered,' said Caper.

'B-bullyf'ryou! We'resame spishies—allrite—d-driv'on!'

'Look here,' said the one of the two men who was least tipsy, 'if this tother g-gen'leman and I could stick our heads into c-cold water we'd come out tall right.'

'It's only a block or two back to the Trevi fountain,' answered Caper, 'and if your friend will go with you, you'll find water enough there.'

They went back to the fountain, and descending the steps with some difficulty, the two men soon had their heads pretty well cooled off, and came up with cleared intellects and improved pronunciation. In the course of conversation it appeared that the two travelers, for such they were, after rather too much wine at dinner in their hotel, had been invited to the German Club, where Rhine wine, etc., had finished them off: attempting to return to their hotel alone, they had lost their way. As the four walked along, it came out that one of them owned a painting by Rocjean, and when he discovered that one of his guides was no other than that Americanized Frenchman, the whole party at once fraternized, and disregarding any more moonlight effects, walked at once to Caper's rooms, where over cigars and a bottle of Copalti's wine they signed, sealed, and delivered a compact to have[Pg 150] a good time generally for the week the two travelers intended devoting to Rome. The moral of which is ... that you make more friends than meet enemies—walking round Rome by night.


They were in the presence of a man with flowing hair, flowing beard, and flowing language, in a studio, all light from which was excluded by heavy curtains, except enough to display an easel on which was placed a painting, a background of dark blue where were many apparently spider and crow-tracks.

'Those who in the profundity of their darkness incline to the belief that the vitality of art, butterfly-like, has fled from this sunny world, have made the biggest kind of a mistake,' said Mr. Artaxerxes Phlamm, the Mystic Artist, to Caper. The hit was evidently intended for Rocjean, but that descendant of the Gauls, for some reason, did not smite back again; he contented himself with the remark:

'Art is long.'

'Yes, sir,' continued Mr. Phlamm, 'not only it has length, but breadth, breadth, broadness—it extends from—yes—from—pole to pole.'

'Like a clothes-line,' said Caper.

'Ah!' continued Phlamm, with a pickled smile, 'Fancy, ever Fancy, but it is Imagination that, as it were, brings man to a level with his destiny and elevates him to the Olympium hights of the True, and all that rises much above the meedyochre. But I must not forget that this is your first visit to me studeeyoh. The painting on the easel is a view of Venice on the Grand Canal.'

'But,' said Rocjean, 'I do not see the canal.'

'When you are gazing at the stars do you see your boots?' asked Phlamm.

'I always do,' spoke Caper quickly, 'always gaze at 'em at night—smoke a cigar—put my feet higher than my head—sit in a chair—stars reflected in boots—big thing!'

'You are full of life and spirits, Caper,' continued Phlamm, 'full of 'em; but Rocjean is more serious, more imbued with his nobil calling. My illustration, as he understands, would convey the idea that such a thing as foreground in a painting is false; it's a sham, it's a delusion, and all that. It may do for pre-Raffleites, but for a man who looks Naychure in the face, he sees her operating diversely, and he works according. I repeat it again, when I was on the Grand Canal in Venice, I didn't see the Grand Canal.'

'Neither did I,' spoke Caper, 'we're just alike; I kept my head all the time out of the gondola-window looking for pretty girls—and I saw them!'

'May I ask why you dead-color your canvas blue, and then make your drawing in black outline?' asked Rocjean.

'What is the color of the sky? Is it not blue? Is not blue a cold color; is it not the negative to the warmth, the balance to the scales, the one thing needed on which to rear the glorious fabric that Naychure reveals to the undimmed vision of man? I know your answer, and I refute it. I have studied Art from its roots, and now I'm in the branches, and I grasp the fruit. My manner is peculiar—I have no patent for it—I ask for none. The illimitable passes the legitimate, and the sw-word is carried by the hero—for me the bruzh, the paint-bruzh. You see that painting before you—it is my child—I lavish on it my intentions—I am going to work three years on that picture!'

'I bet you a new hat you sell it, and a dozen more, and send 'em off before six months. You're all the rage now since you sold old Goldburg a picture,' quoth Caper.

'I don't bet, I am opposed to betting. But look that picture of mine in the face, in the face! Here is a finished painting, The Lake of Zurich; see those clouds floating mistily away into the far distance—there's atmosphere for you—there's air! You can't cut those clouds into slices of cheese as you can them of that humbug of a Cloud Lowrain. Cloud Lowrain! he's a purty painter! Naychure is my teacher. I go out morn[Pg 151]ings and hear the jackdaws chatter, and see trees and all that; sometimes I walk around in a garden for ten minutes and commune with Naychure—that's the way to do it. Look at clouds before you paint 'em—I know it's hard when the sun's in your eyes, but do it—I've spent a week at a time out-doors, like Wordsworth and the great, the grand, the colossial Ruzking.'

'I like that water,' said Rocjean, alluding to that of the painting.

'Water is my peculiar study; I am now engaged experimenting on it—see there!' Here Phlamm pointed to a basin.

'Been washing your hands?' asked Caper.

'Scientifically experimenting, not manually. Water is soup-or-fish-all—earth is not soup-or-fish-all.'

'Our dinners are, during Lent,' quoth Caper, 'unless we're heretics.'

'I don't understand your frivolity—what do you mean?'

'Didn't you say, 'Soup or all fish?''

'Pshaw! You will never make an artist—never, never—you are too, too superficiall, too much of the earth, dirty.'

'Oh! now I understand,' answered Caper; 'give it to me, I deserve it.'

'I was studying water, its shadows and its superficiality, in that basin,' continued Phlamm, 'and I study the ocean there, and have devolved great principles from it. What makes my pictures sought for by the high and the low, wealthy? What? It's the Truth in 'em, the Mystery, the Naychure. The old masters were humbugs, they weren't mysterious, they had no inner sight into the workings of Naychure. Who'd buy one of their pictures when he might have a Turner for the same price? Nobody.'

'Wouldn't he?' asked Caper. 'Try him with a Raphael, just a small one.'

'Raphael? You mean Raffaele. Ah! he was a painter, he wasn't one of the old masters, however, he was a middle-age master. What sweetness, what a kind of—sweetness generally; what a blending of the prayerful infant with the enthusiastic beauty; the—the polished chastity of his Mad-donas; the folds of his drapery, and—the drapery of his folds. Truly enchanting, and so very uncommonly gentlemanly in his colors.'

'The Chesterfield of oil-colors?' suggested Rocjean. 'But à propos of Nature, you never paint a picture directly from her, do you?'

'Never! Does a great historical painter use the model? No, sir; he draws on his imagination for his figures. He scorns to copy from a model. I convey the impression of mystery that Naychure gives me; I am no servile copyist. And I claim to leave an impression on the minds of the beholders of my works. Why, even Caper, I believe, can see what I wish to tell, and read my poems on canvas. Tell me, Caper, what idea does even that rough sketch of Venice awake in your imaginative faculties, and all that?'

Caper's face wore a deeply thoughtful look, as he answered: 'I do see it; I do claim to read the lesson you would teach——'

'Speak it out,' interrupted Phlamm, 'I knew you would feel the deep, mysterious sentiment as is in it.'

'Spider-tracks and crows' feet on the blue mud of a big marsh,' spoke Caper resolutely.

'Pshaw!' exclaimed Phlamm impetuously; 'you have no Faith, and without that, all Art is a sealed thing. Goldburg, to whom I lately sold a painting, had faith; he saw the grand idea which I explained to him in that picture; he knew that the Earl of Bigbarns had purchased a work of mine, and he said to me: 'The opinion of such a man is an opinion as should be a valuable opinion to a business man, and govern the sentiments of those who worship Art.' Other artists see Naychure, but how do they see her? I answer, blindly! They don't feel her here!' (Phlamm struck his waistcoat in fearful proximity to a pocket in it, and altogether too low for his heart.)

'Nay-chure,' said Caper to Rocjean,[Pg 152] as they left this studio of the mysterious one, 'ruined a good Barnum to make a poor Phlamm, when she made him.'


It is a mournful sight to see a city of one hundred and eighty thousand five hundred and thirty-nine inhabitants, including one thousand three hundred and thirty-one priests, two thousand four hundred and four monks, and eight hundred and fifty-four Jews, Turks, and heretics, as the census had it, attacked with hydrophobia. But it is so. A preternatural dread of water rages among all the inhabitants of Rome, from the untitled down to the titled.

'Madame,' said Rocjean to a distinguished female model, 'I assure you that, in the sixth century, [or as Sir Gardiner Wilkinson has it, in the five hundred,] there were nine thousand and twenty-five baths in this city.'

'Those must have been good times,' replied she, 'for the washerwomen, seguro! There are a good many clothes of the forestieri [strangers] washed here now; but not so many different places to wash them in.'

'I mean places to bathe one's self all over in.'

'Mai! Never, never!' exclaimed the woman with horror; 'never! 'twould give them the fever, kill them dead!'

Mr. Van Brick, of New-York, arriving in Rome early in the morning, demanded of the porter at the hotel where he could find a bagno, or place where he could get a bath. He was directed to go down the Babuino, and at such a number he would find the establishment. Forgetting the number before he was three steps from the hotel, he inquired of a man who was driving a she-jackass to be milked, where the bath was. As he spoke very little Italian, he had to make up by signs what he wanted in words. The man, probably believing he wanted a church, and that his motions signified being sprinkled with water, pointed to the Greek church, and Van Brick, thinking it was a solemn-looking old bagno, strode in, to his astonishment finding out as soon as he entered that he was by no means in the right place. As he turned to go out, he saw an amiable-looking young man, with a black cocked hat in his hand, and a black serge shirt on that came down to his heels, and had a waist-band drawing it in over his hips. He asked the young man, as well as he could in Italian, where there was a bagno.

'The signore is English?' asked the youth in the black shirt.

'I want a bath,' said Van Brick, 'which way?'

'Have patience, signore. There are a great many English in Rome.'

'Farewell!' quoth Van Brick, turning on his heel, reflecting: 'That youth talks too much; he does it to conceal his ignorance; he don't know what a bath is.' Coming out of the church, he met a good-natured looking Roman girl, without any bonnet, as usual, going along with a bottle of wine and a loaf of bread.

'Can you tell me where the bath is?'

'Chi lo sa, signore.'

This CHI LO SA, or, 'who knows?' of the Romans, is a shaft that would kill Paul Pry. It nearly throws an inquisitive man into convulsions. He meets it at every turn. The simplest question is knocked to pieces by it. So common is it for a Roman of the true plebs breed to give you this for an answer to almost every question, that Rocjean once won a hat from Caper in this wise: they stood one evening in front of a grocer's store, down by the Pantheon; it was brilliantly illuminated with hundreds of candles, displaying piles of hams, cheese, butter, eggs, etc., etc. Chandeliers constructed of egg-shells, where candles shone brightly, particularly struck Caper.

'You see,' said Rocjean, 'as anyone else can see, that those chandeliers are made of egg-shells. Now, I will bet you a hat that I will ask four men, one after another, who may come to look in this window, what those chandeliers are made of, and three at least, if not all four of them, will answer, 'Who knows?' (Chi lo sa.)[Pg 153]

'Done!' said Caper.

Rocjean asked four men, one after another. All four answered; 'Who knows?'

But to continue the bath-hunt: Van Brick was thrown over by the girl's answer, and next asked an old woman, who was standing at the door of a house, buying broccoli from a man with a hand-cart.

'Can you tell me where the bath is?'

'The bath?'

'Yes, the bath.'

'Is it where they boil water for the English?'

'That must be the shop,' quoth Brick.

'That's the place,' pointing with her finger to a house on the opposite side of the way.

Van Brick crossed over, and after five minutes' hunt over the whole house, was coming down disheartened, when he saw a pretty girl, about eighteen years old, standing by the doorway.

'Can you tell me where the bath is?'

'Seguro! I attend to them. You can't have a warm bath for two or three hours yet, for there is no fire; but you can have a cold one.'

'Well, let me have it as quickly as possible.'

'Yes, sir. We have no soap for sale, but you can get it two doors off.'

Van Brick went out, and after a time returned with a cake of soap.

'Signore,' said the girl, when he went back, 'the water is all running out of the hole in the bottom of the tub, and I can't stop it.'

'H'm! Show me the tub; I am a splendid mechanic.'

The hole being stopped, the tub was rapidly filling with water. Van Brick, in anticipation, was enjoying his bath; when in rushed the attendant.

'Signore, you will have to wait a few minutes—until I wash some towels.'

Van Brick was in extremis. Taking a gold scudo, one of those dear little one-dollar pieces the Romans call far-fálle (butterflies) from his pocket, he thus addressed her:

'Maiden, rush round the corner and buy me a yard of any thing that will dry me; I don't care what it is, except salt fish.'

'Oh! but these English are bursting with money,' thought the girl, and thus thinking, she made great haste, only stopping to tell three or four friends about the crazy man that was round at her place, who didn't want salt fish to make him dry.

'Behold me back again!' said the girl, 'I flew.'

'Yes,' said Van Brick, 'and so did time; and he got ahead of you about half an hour. Give me the towels.'

'Si, signore, behold them! See how fine they are! What an elegant fringe on them; and only twenty-five baiocchi a piece, fringe and all included.'

Van Brick, at last left in peace, plunged into the bath.

When he came out, he found he had half a scudo to pay for the water, half a scudo for towels, quarter of a scudo for soap, and another quarter scudo for a buono mano to the bath-girl. Total, one dollar and a half.

'Now,' soliloquized Van Brick, as he dressed himself, 'I have an arithmetical question to solve. If a Roman, by hard scratching, can earn twenty cents a day, and it costs him twenty-five cents for board and lodging, how long will it be before he saves up a dollar and a half to take a bath? But that intelligent maiden will tell me, I know.' He asked her.

'Signore, the Romans never bathe.'

'You mean the Catholic Romans, for the Pagan Romans didn't do any thing else.'

'They're all burning up in the inferno, Seguro!' said the maiden.

'But they had fifteen aqueducts to keep them cool when they were alive,' spoke Van Brick.

'Chi lo sa. We have three aqueducts, we Romans, and we have more water, yes, more water than we can—drink.'

'Yes, while there's wine about. Adio, bella ninfa!'[Pg 154]



We considered, in the last number of The Continental, some of the leading orators and statesmen who, in the last Congress, represented the States now in rebellion against the Constitution. It can not be denied that, by their secession from the floor of the Senate, that body, which undoubtedly exhibits the best specimens of American eloquence, was deprived of several of its fairest ornaments; but we believe that a consideration of those Senators who remained faithful to the interests of their country, will discover the fact that in them was displayed at least equally conspicuous merit in oratory and legislation. A distinct contrast was discernible between Northern and Southern eloquence; the latter being of an impulsive and passionate character, unadorned generally by the graces which mental culture lends to that art, (which might be inferred from their well-known temperament,) while the former appears to be more deliberate and thoughtful, indicating by its elegance and harmony the refining and systematizing influence of education, and partaking of the natural phlegm peculiar to inhabitants in colder regions. While Southern eloquence seemed to endeavor to elicit feeling and passion, Northern orators looked for their success rather to the conviction of the understanding than to the indulgence of the weaker elements of human nature. By pleasing and subtle sophistries, by enthusiastic ebullitions of resentment and indignation, or by the more amiable contrivances of patriotic and virtuous sentiment, Benjamin and Davis sought, if they could not convince legislators, at least to attract to their peculiar doctrines the impulsive and credulous masses among their own people. On the contrary, it was apparent that Northern statesmen, confident in the exercise of intellectual resources, relied on the intelligence and reason of their auditors and constituents, and seldom resorted to that species of oratory which was employed by their adversaries, and which may be called in a manner strategetic, when logical accuracy was likely to meet with more satisfactory and more permanent success. Before we proceed to notice the eminent Senators from the North, we propose to dwell briefly upon several who, though representing slave States, were, in the last Congress at least, loyal to the Government; several of whom, however, are now engaged in treason, while others remain true to their allegiance.

The person who, both from the position he held in the Senate and from his imposing personal appearance, first attracted the attention of the visitor, was the Vice-President, Breckinridge, of Kentucky. His later treachery has made him justly the object of bitter popular odium, inasmuch as his delinquency was aggravated by his former professions of loyalty. It was hoped by many who had witnessed his early elevation to the highest dignities, his undoubted ability both as an orator and as an administrative officer, and his apparently manly and ingenuous bearing, that talents which promised to be of so great service to his country would, in the approaching struggle, be exerted in behalf of its entirety and honor. Southern 'chivalry' in him was exhibited in a nobler and more amiable light than in his more petulant and less generous colleagues. A certain graceful dignity was united with the most attractive felicity of manner, and one could not help regarding him, when viewed in private society, as a perfect model of a gentleman. His courtesy and delicacy were exhibited to all alike, and strangers could not help admiring one who had at so early an age been raised to so giddy a hight, and yet who had retained such condescension of manner and such continual good-nature to every body who approached him. His personal appear[Pg 155]ance, as we have already said, was highly imposing; in which was combined a manliness of demeanor and a strikingly handsome countenance and figure. His peculiar fitness as a presiding officer made him popular in that capacity. Seldom, indeed, has a Vice-President occupied the chair with such perfect ease and such stately dignity. His oratory was worthy of a Senator, elevated, earnest, and partaking less of passion and rancor than other Southern speakers; but it rather lacked the substance and solidity which a maturer stage of life would undoubtedly have given to it. He seemed to be a fair representative of the Kentucky aristocracy, possessing a delicate sense of honor, a bold spirit, though hardly enthusiasm of soul. Evidently absorbed in a selfish ambition for power, this fault is in some degree palliated by the circumstance of the early age at which he was promoted to the public counsels. That this passion, unduly encouraged, has led him into a deplorable and fatal mistake, is now evident; and from what we have recently heard of him, we doubt not that a similar conviction has made him wretched and desperate.

The father of the Senate, Mr. Crittenden, so well known during the last weeks of his term as the would-be pacificator, by compromise, of the impending rupture, was the last of the generation of statesmen of whom Webster and Clay were the leading cotemporaries. His long service in the national legislature procured him on all occasions a respectful and attentive hearing, and were it not for this circumstance, the earnest impressiveness of his declamation, at times relieved by sparks of old-fashioned wit, would have attracted the notice of his auditors. He was singular in his personal appearance, and a peculiarly fierce expression of face frequently gave an erroneous idea of his character, which was, making allowance for age and a life of turmoil, affable and good-natured. He always reminded us of the portraits of Lord Chancellor Thurlow, whose bushy eyebrows and stern countenance used to terrify young barristers in Westminster eighty years ago. Rather negligent in his dress, and far from elegant in manner, he would hardly be noticed at first as one of the leading members of the body. As a lawyer, he has been acute and learned; as a statesman, generally able, though hardly profound; as an orator, not graceful, but forcible and earnest. His patriotism was, no doubt, zealous and entirely disinterested; but certainly ill-directed, and not adapted in the application it made of principles to the exigencies of the times. Representing the most respected and most prosperous of slave States, and being considered in a manner as the statesman upon whose shoulders had fallen the mantle of the illustrious Clay, his influence was considerable, both with adherents and antagonists.

With sincere satisfaction, we turn to contemplate the character of a true-hearted and undaunted Southern patriot, Andrew Johnson, of Tennessee. Coming as he did from a section in which secessionism predominates, and representing a mercurial and sensitive people, he stood out fearlessly and zealously in behalf of the maintenance of the Union at all hazards. He is an admirable example of the self-made man, having received no education in his youth, and owing to the application of maturer years the historical and political information he now possesses. Born and bred among the lower classes of society, and engaging in an occupation suited to his humble sphere, by perseverance and patience and a very superior natural ability, he has won a deserved place in the United States Senate. He is universally considered as one of the leading intellects in that body, and by his speeches during the last Congress, in which his enthusiasm as a patriot lent brilliancy and energy to his naturally forcible declamation, he attracted to himself the confidence and affection both of his auditors and of the country. His personal appearance is rather ordinary, not at all imposing, and yet his countenance indicates a sound judgment and[Pg 156] a pure heart. His whole manner is open and frank, his bearing that of a gentleman by nature, and socially he is universally liked. His oratory is also of an ingenuous character, calculated to impress one at once with his thorough honesty and humanity. Sometimes he rose to admirable passages of virtuous indignation and scathing rebuke, as he warmed with the subject of Southern delusion, actuated by unprincipled leaders, and few of the Senators who sat on the Democratic side escaped from his truly formidable denunciation. Lane, of Oregon, a compound of conceit, ridiculous ignorance, and servility to Southern masters, was totally annihilated by the sturdy Tennesseean, for his imbecile attempts to excuse his pusillanimous submission to his chivalrous dictators. So successful was he in conjecturing and exposing the designs of the malcontent Senators, that the boldest of them feared to meet him in forensic discussion, and recoiled from the honesty and acuteness of one who knew them and did not hesitate to hold them up to ignominy. Through all the dangers which have beset the neighborhood from which he came, he has stood firm in the assertion of patriotic principles; nor to save his own household from disaster, has he yielded a jot to the demands of traitor tyrants. At present, he is provisional Governor of Tennessee, and is doing good service in bringing that once-honored State back to the folds of the Union. Of few public men can we say, what may be confidently said of him, that he has shown himself ready to sacrifice every private interest to subserve the interests of his country, and has given us a certain and practical example of a heroism unknown before the present crisis to Americans, except in the colored narratives of history.

Senator Green, of Missouri, was justly regarded as one of the clearest thinkers and speakers in the Upper House. Irregularity of life had somewhat blunted what must once have been a very superior mind. His statesmanship was of a high order; his oratory ingenuous, generally courteous and conciliatory, and always entertaining, from its lucidness and keenness. He was decidedly popular in social circles, genial and good-natured, and full of animal spirits. His excesses, indeed, rather tended to make him the more companionable, though they undoubtedly undermined an uncommonly fine intellect; and certainly nothing can be more sickening than to see one so highly endowed, and who might command the applause of listening senates, gradually sinking below the level of manhood by habitual indulgences. In personal appearance, he was rather awkward, of an ungainly figure, his countenance not highly intelligent, but cheerful and rather pleasing. After the ostracism of the great bulwark of Democracy, Douglas, from the councils of his party, Senator Green became the leader of that side of the house, assuming the place on the Committee on Territories made vacant by the Illinois statesman. As a manager of party tactics, and as a bold, shrewd, and energetic leader, few could equal and none surpass him. His rise to so high a consideration among his political friends was rapid, but proved, in the event, well deserved.

We have occupied more space than we had intended, in considering the Senators from the slave States, and will now attempt to speak of some of the more prominent Northern statesmen, in this paper, and perhaps continue their consideration more at length in a future number.

The present Secretary of State was long regarded as the leading Free-Soil Senator, and after the present Republican party came into existence, he naturally assumed a prominent position among its advocates. In caution, in profound foresight, in coolness and affability of temper, and in perspicuity and logical shrewdness of oratory, he has been without a superior since the death of Webster. He somewhat resembles Earl Russell in the prudence and care with which he treats political questions, and the vigilance with which he notices[Pg 157] every symptom of popular tendencies and popular desires. His circumspection is constant, and the imperturbability of his character enables him to be ever on his guard, and protects him from the enunciation of an unpopular idea. Never permitting himself to be annoyed at ever so bitter a taunt, perfectly self-possessed, and always mindful of the courtesy due to his colleagues, and the respect due to the most dignified body in the nation, he has generally succeeded in completely disarming his less prudent antagonists. In general debate, his coolness and mental balance enabled him to cope with the most formidable opponents, and although at times the overwhelming eloquence of Douglas got the better of the more philosophic orator, such an occurrence was rare, and a triumph was gained over him only by the greatest exertions of the greatest orators. His labored speeches, as will be testified to by all who have perused them, are rich in profound thought, a clear discernment and comprehension of events, causes, and results, and occasionally in passages of stately and brilliant eloquence. Graceful rhetoric and shrewd logic appear to be ever at his command, as he has occasion, in the course of argument, to resort to one or the other, to illustrate or to enforce his reasoning. In person, Mr. Seward is of about medium hight, rather stooping, with reddish-gray hair, an aquiline nose, and dull, sleepy, blue eyes. His countenance is hardly intellectual, and no one would suppose, on seeing him for the first time, that he was a man of conspicuous ability. He is affable to every one, and enters freely into conversation with all who call upon him; nevertheless, he is extremely guarded at all times in expressing his opinions, and will never betray himself into an unguarded sentiment. His manner of speaking is extremely easy, and occasionally dull; and when in the Senate, he used to take his position by leaning against the pillar behind his seat, twirling in one hand his spectacles, while with the other he enforced, by slight gestures, the more striking passages of his speech. His delivery was far from animated, and his intonation was rather conversational than declamatory. He has a quiet dignity at all times, which is yet consistent with a polite and amiable demeanor; and while the former inspires the respect, the latter elicits the esteem of all who approach him.

The present Vice-President was, during the last Congress, Senator from Maine. He was long known as an able Democratic politician, and in 1856 was elected Governor of Maine by the Republicans, in a hotly-contested election. He is remarkable rather for a sound judgment and practical good sense than as an orator or in the higher arts of statesmanship. He was always listened to with attention, because all looked upon him as well informed in the everyday duties of the Senate, and as one whose opinion was formed from accurate observation and a clear head. He is in no sense an orator, his delivery not being pleasant or his sentiments couched in graceful or forcible language. He is of a dark complexion, rather tall, with jet-black hair, a little bald, and would not be selected as one of the leading men in the Senate from his personal appearance. As a presiding officer, he ranks well, being apparently posted on parliamentary law and impartial in his decisions, although he has not the dignity and grace which lent éclat to Mr. Breckinridge's performance of the office.

Senator Fessenden, of Maine, is considered one of the first statesmen now prominent before the country; and the ability he has exhibited, not only in the practical details of his position but in the wider range of comprehensive statesmanship, entitles him to a place superior to most and equal to any of his contemporaries. Since the retirement of Senator Hunter from the Finance Committee, (which may be considered as the most important in the Senate,) Mr. Fessenden has executed the duties of its chairmanship with an accuracy and vigilance which has elicited the praise of all sides of the house. His supe[Pg 158]riority as a financier is marked; but not more marked than his high capacity for comprehending and elucidating the great national issues, which swallow up all minor ones in the magnitude of their importance and the intensity of their interest. For maturity of judgment, deliberateness of thought and manner, fearlessness of speech, a presence of mind never lost, and bitterness of invective, no one ranks above him in the Chamber. His oratory is of that substantial and yet spirited character which at once convinces and interests and engages the attention of the mind, without wearying it by unrelieved exertion. Always the master of every topic on which he attempts to enlighten, he is neither foiled by the sophistries nor embarrassed by the bravadoes of his opponents. His eloquence is not demonstrative, but calm, dignified, and earnest, apparently confident in the correctness of his views, and yet cautious to avoid giving offense to others. He is always listened to with the utmost respect, and his opinions are of much weight among his political friends. His appearance is dignified and highly intellectual; his forehead being broad and indicative of great ability, and his general manner being in harmony with the prominence and responsibility of his office. Never resorting, in default of argument, to the petty malice of personal abuse, his course has been liberal, consistent, and uniformly courteous. In private life, he retains the dignity which appears to be natural to him; but is yet affable and sociable, attracting one alike by the rich products of thought and the courtesy of his manner.

Benjamin F. Wade, Senator from Ohio, is a noble specimen of a self-made statesman. He migrated, at a very early age, from New-England to his present residence, being entirely without means and devoid of every thing except his own invincible spirit, with which to secure a livelihood. The qualities which made him successful sooner than his most sanguine expectations taught him to hope for, appear in all their maturity in the character of the Senator. A perseverance the most constant, a firmness approaching to stubbornness, a courage which never feared man, and a power of application wonderful in a mind disciplined only by rude nature, are the component elements which have promoted him to and maintain him with conspicuous honor in the Senate of the United States. His honest and intrepid advocacy of principle has won him an enviable position in his party, and no one possesses the entire confidence of the country to a greater degree than he. He was particularly prominent in the last Congress for the bluntness and severity with which he handled the Southern Senators, and the little hesitation with which he exposed their delinquencies in the strongest light. His harangues were full of impulsive, strong, and fearless invective, and he never stopped to consider the delicacy of chivalrous sensitiveness, when treason and conspiracy were to be exposed. Probably no man was more feared by the other side of the Chamber, for he could neither be cowed by threats nor restrained within the limits of punctilious courtesy. He dealt with them in the plainest language, and combined with powerful effect argument, sarcasm, and eloquent denunciation. Strong sense is a leading feature of his character, and a practical wisdom which renders him eminently capable in the discharge of details. In private life, he is genial and always good-natured, ready for a joke at all times, and enjoys his leisure hours with a zest which is quickened by previous earnest toil. Although as bitter and unconciliatory as any of his colleagues in his treatment of the Southern statesmen on the floor of the Senate, he always manifested the utmost good temper toward them in social intercourse, and was frequently seen, after a sharp and irritating episode in debate, laughing and talking with Green or Benjamin in the most cheerful manner imaginable.

We hope to present more sketches of Northern Senators in a future number.[Pg 159]


Where in the Southron's Fatherland
Is that last ditch—his final stand?
Is't where the James goes rolling by
Used-up plantations worn and dry,
Where planters lash and negroes breed,
And folks on oyster memories feed?
Oh! no, oh! no, oh! no, no, no!
To find it you must further go.

Where in the Southron's Fatherland
Is that 'last ditch,' his final stand?
Is't where the Mississippi runs
His mighty course for many suns,
To where New-Orleans fills the flat?
[Ben Butler's taken charge of that]
'Tis ours—to the Gulf of Mexico,
So that can't be the ditch, you know.

Where in the Southron's Fatherland
Is that last ditch—his final stand?
Is it about Fort Donelson,
Where Floyd 'skedaddled,' minus gun,
Packed up his traps and stole away
By night—as he had done by day?
Oh! no, oh! no, oh! no, no, no!
To find it you must further go.

Where in the Southron's Fatherland
Is that last ditch—his final stand?
Is it at Nashville, Tennessee,
Once more a city of the free,
Where Isham Harris and his tools
Thieved just two millions from the schools?
Oh! no, oh! no, oh! no, no, no!
To find it you must further go.

Where in the Southron's Fatherland
Is that last ditch—his final stand?
Is't at Montgomery, where in May
Hell's blackest tricks were put in play,
Where right and might were overruled,
And people into treason fooled?
Oh! no, oh! no, oh! no, no, no!
[Pg 160]To find it you must further go.

Where in the Southron's fatherland
Is that last ditch—his final stand?
Is it at Charleston? Time shall prove
How much that precious nest we love,
When, crushed to dust and damned to shame,
We give the place another name.
Yet 'tis not there, I tell you, no!
Much further off its waters flow.

Where in the Southron's Fatherland
Is that last ditch—his final stand?
Is it at Natchez, high or low,
Or Newbern, where the pine-trees grow?
Is it where ladies 'dip' and snuff,
And white men feed on dirt enough?
Not there, not there; far down below
And further off its waters flow.

Where in the Southron's Fatherland
Is that last ditch—his final stand?
Knowest thou a stream folks call the Styx,
Round a plantation of Old Nick's,
In which, as Beauregard once swore,
His horse should drink when all is o'er?
There, there, my Southern friend, you'll find
A ditch exactly to your mind.

Ay, there in truth. God! can it be
That falsehood, sin and tyranny,
Though eighteen hundred years be past,
Still roar and revel wild and fast?
Well, let them rave; thou knowest the way—
'Tis darkest ere the dawn of day,
And well we know, whate'er befall,
Where runs the ditch to hide them all!


Patience! why,'tis the soul of peace;
Of all the virtues, the nearest kin to heaven.
It makes men act like gods. The Best of Men
That e'er wore earth about him was a Sufferer,
A soft, meek, patient, humble, tranquil spirit,
The first true Gentleman that ever breathed.
[Pg 161]


It is a brave thing that we can truly say, after more than a year of fierce hostilities, the war in which this country is engaged goes on with undiminished—nay, with increasing Northern spirit. The enemy has been obliged to resort to forced conscription, and to declare every man within its limits a soldier, while we have not as yet had recourse to drafting; nor, as the late sudden call showed, nearly exhausted our volunteers. A thousand, and even fifteen hundred dollars have been offered in Virginia newspapers for a substitute, and yet behind this there has followed an Executive order for enrolling every man in the army whether he have purchased a substitute or not. 'Our flag floats over Nashville and Natchez, over Memphis and New-Orleans, over Norfolk and Pensacola, over Yorktown and Newbern.' We have girded them in on the Mississippi, on the Atlantic, and on the Gulf. We know that they are destitute of almost every thing save mere food and arms, and that every month sinks them deeper and deeper in destitution and misery. The war is on their own soil, and their own armies are a scourge and a curse to their own estates. Every where the plantation and the farm are made desolate—every where the direst distress is taking the place of comfort. And all this they brought on themselves by the most determined will. They believed that Northern men were all cowards and half-traitors—their allies and friends among us promised them easy victories and certain independence—they thought that the greed of money was stronger among us than the sense of dignity and honor—and now they are reaping their reward.

Yet despite the bitter need into which they have brought themselves, it does not seem that those of the South who are in earnest have lost any of their desperation, or gained a better opinion of their foes. Their journals still trumpet the loudest lies and the mass still believe that sooner or later their shattered bark will outride the battle and the storm, and float safely into the broad sea of independence. Would that they could see the North as it is, in all its comparative prosperity, with millions still left to volunteer, and with thousands of foreigners eagerly seeking for places in the fray. We have found it necessary to instruct our ministers and consuls abroad that we can not accept for the present any more of the many military officers of different nations who desire to fight for the stars and stripes. We have money in abundance, and there is no flinching at taxation—indeed, the great source of apprehension at present is an excess of 'flush times' such as is too apt to bring on a reaction. When the war broke out we had, indeed, divided counsels. The old Southern Democrats whined and yelped, and attempted 'peace-parties' and the like; but they have vanished, and traitors now confine themselves to less offensive measures, while their ranks have been woefully thinned. We may have disasters; nay, we can hardly hope to escape them. But in the present state of the war we may fairly boast of having the upper-hand. And the Northern tenacity which did not yield when misfortune lowered around, will not be likely to loose its hold now that it has learned to measure its might, man for man, with the arrogant enemy.

Under the wise and judicious policy inaugurated by President Lincoln, we see Slavery, the great cause of this trouble, in a fair way to disappear in a manner which can give offence to no one. His 'remuneration message'—the shrewdest document which ever emanated from an American Executive—shows itself, as events proceed, to be a master-stroke of genius. The longer the cotton States prolong their resistance, the more precarious does slave[Pg 162] property become, and the more inclined are the men of the tobacco States to sell their human chattels. Already in Kentucky, Tennessee, Maryland, and Delaware, people are longing to 'realize' something on what bids fair to become altogether intangible amid the turns and tides of skirmishes and battles. Meanwhile with every day's delay Emancipation, as a predetermined necessity, gains ground among the people, and very rapidly indeed in the army. It was the lowest and most tyrannical form of an aristocracy—that of slaveholding planterdom—which caused and is still causing all this trouble, and it is beginning to work its way into the minds of the multitude that it is hardly worth while to risk every thing, and see the real criminals reïnstated after all in their privileges and possessions, when the one can only serve to continue the old sore, while the other might be better employed in free labor. And better employed, we may add, in rewarding those noble men whose lives were risked in defense of our liberties.

This consideration brings us to the very important question: How shall we reward our army, and what should be its future mission in the reconstruction which every freeman will be called to aid?

There is no use in disguising facts, shirking inevitable issues, or trying to cheat either destiny or honest labor. We have got this question of rewarding our soldiers with the property of rebels, before us, and must meet it squarely. The pro-slavery Democratic press may oppose it, as they have been doing, with all the malignity which their treasonable friendship for the South may inspire; but we have an inevitable road before us over which we must travel, and it would be well to consider it betimes, that we may tread it fairly and smoothly, and not be dragged along shrieking, by a pitiless destiny.

There are two good reasons why we should begin to consider betimes, the expediency of rewarding our army with Southern lands. The one is the necessity of a future Northern policy; the other the claim of the army to such reward.

If when this war is concluded, our Government is to have a policy or a principle, it should manifestly be that of reïnstating itself in power, in consolidating that power, and in acting as a powerful unity, according to the letter and the spirit of the Constitution. The Constitution—bear that word well in mind—the Constitution which suffers no State to usurp a single power belonging to the General Government, and which was expressly framed for the purpose of making all its freemen the citizens of one great nation. Let the reader consult the Constitution, study its unmistakable plan of national integrity and of state subordination, and then reflect whether, according to its spirit, any and every mere state privilege which may be claimed should not yield to the paramount claim of the Union?

If this war has demonstrated any thing, it has been, firstly, the fact that the South shall stay in the Union, and secondly, the folly of permitting the old Southern system to control us in politics, in social life, and in every thing. We have had enough of it. Manufactures, free labor, science, schools, the press, learning, new ideas, social reforms, the whole progress of the age, inspiring twenty millions, can no longer be cuffed and scouted in the Senate and snubbed in the salon or public meeting by the private interests of half a million of the most illiberal and ignorant conservatives in existence. Henceforth the North must rule. 'Must' is a hard nut, but Southern teeth must crack it, whether they will or no. We may shuffle and quibble, but to this it must come. Every day of the war renders it more certain. The farm must encroach on the plantation, the rural nobility give place to the higher nobility of intelligence; social culture based on mudsills must make way for the mudsills themselves—for lo! the sills which they buried are not dead timber, neither do they sleep or rot—they were fresh saplings, and[Pg 163] with the reviving breath of spring and at the gleam of the sun of freedom, they will shoot up into brave, strong life.

Let them talk, dispute, hem and haw, that will—we can not set aside the great fact that in future our Government will be united in its policy, great in its strength, and no longer impeded by the selfish arrogance of a petty planterdom. Labor and capital are bursting their bonds—the Middle Class of North-America which Southerners and Englishmen equally revile, is becoming all-powerful and seeks to substitute business common-sense for the aristocratic policy which has hitherto guided us. It is no longer a question of radicalism, of poor against rich, of lazzaroni and royalists, but of a new element—that of labor and of intellect combined—the guiding-spirit of the North. And the question is, how to best aid this element in its progress?

The army of the United States at the present day contains within itself the best part of such free labor and intellect as is needed to reform the South. That dashing and daring energy which gladly enters on new fields, and loves bold enterprises, has streamed by scores of thousands from the farm and factory toward the camp and the battle-field. There it is doing brave service for God and for freedom. Every day sees martyrs for the holy cause drawn from the ranks of these good and noble volunteers. They die noble—ay, holy deaths, and as they die new aspirants for honor step forward to fill their places. When the war shall be over, it is to the army that we should look to revive the wasted South, to farm its exhausted plantations and employ its blacks. Is there no significance in the numerous anecdotes which reach us of Northern intellect already displaying itself in a thousand forms of restless activity? The newspaper before us states that General Shepley, in New-Orleans, has threatened that if the bakers of his conquered city do not supply bread more cheaply he will remodel their whole business and employ bakers from the army. 'Bakers from the army!' Ay, smiths, engineers, editors, and every thing else are there, amply capable of reörganizing the whole South—of tilling its fields to greater advantage, of developing its neglected resources, of making the old, desolate, lazy, dissolute Southland hum with enterprise. Let them do it.

We may as well do it betimes with a good grace, for it is very doubtful if those who venture to oppose the settlement of our soldiers in the South, will not stir up such a storm of trouble as this country never saw. An army of half a million after a year or two years of battle-life, will not calmly return to its wonted avocations, notwithstanding all that has been said to that effect. A warrant for Western lands, which will possibly bring a hundred dollars, will seem but a small matter to men who have seen unlimited paths to competence in the rich fields of the South. They will not comprehend why the enemy should be allowed to retain his possessions while they themselves have been thrown out of employment. There is to be some end to this protecting the rights and property of rebels. And it is very certain that a vast number of those who were non-combatants will perfectly agree with them.

It is pleasant to see the process of reconstruction going on so well in New-Orleans under the bayonets of our troops. But neither in New-Orleans nor elsewhere has it any vitality save under Northern direction, aided by Northern industry. The hatred of the South for the old Union is insane, terrible, and ineradicable. The real secessionists will never come back, they will never be conciliated. They will oppose Union, oppose free labor, hinder our every effort to benefit them, and be our deadly foes to the last. We might as well abandon now and forever any hope of reconstruction to be founded on reformed secessionists. A large party there is—and it will, if properly protected, become much larger—who will join the Union for the sake of preserving their property. But this party will not be increased a sin[Pg 164]gle man by our neglecting to punish those who have been active rebels, while on the other hand it will dwindle to nothing if left exposed to temptation and enmity. We must proceed with the utmost energy, and our only hope is in a complete reörganization of the South, by infusing into it Northern blood, life, ideas, education, and industry. And the only effective means of doing this will be to settle our army in the South. The task before us is a tremendous one, but so is the war, and we must not flinch from it.

We have come to an era of great ideas and great deeds, such as rarely overtake nations in history, and which when they do, either crush them to the dust or elevate them to the topmost pinnacle of glory. Petty expediency, timid measures, small politics, will no longer help this country. There is a great cause of evil in America—slavery—which is destined to disappear, and which will disappear whether we legislate for or against it. It is disappearing now under the influences of the war. Beyond it lies the equally great evil of Southern hatred, inertia, laziness, ignorance, and depravity. We must learn to live in the great ideas of making all this disappear before superior intelligence, industry, and humanity. The great principles of free labor, scientific reforms and culture, the enlargement of capital, the feeding and teaching the poor, should become as a deep-seated religion in our hearts, and we should live and labor to promote this great and holy faith which is in reality the practical side of Christianity—that great shield of the poor. To extend these doctrines over the whole continent is a noble mission, and one not to be balked or hindered by foolish scruples or weak pity for a pitiless foe.

He who can raise his mind to the contemplation of the government of North-America, ruling over a perfectly free continent, may see in the future such a picture of national greatness as the world never before realized. Every State attracting the eager labor of millions of emigrants—for there will be no cause in future for the foreigner to carefully shun the slave hive—the native American directing as ever the enterprises—one grand government spreading from ocean to ocean—the whole growing every year more and more united through the constant increase of industrial interests and mutual needs—this is indeed a future to look forward to. And it is no idle dream. It will be something to be an American when we count one hundred millions of united freemen.

The first step in this advance lies right before us. It will be in 'Northing' the South and in completely sweeping away, by means of free labor and free schools every trace of the foul old negro-owning arrogance. And to do this we must begin by finding or making a way to induce a large portion of the army to remain in the South and reform it. It is a grand scheme, but we live in the day of great deeds, and should not flinch from them.

It is, however, tolerably clear to him who looks to the future, that whether we boldly embrace this scheme or not, it will force itself upon us or else entail some great disaster. It is more to our interest to reward the army with Southern land-grants than it is even for theirs to accept them. The longer we bolster up in its possessions an insolent enemy, so much the longer shall we have to support an army and pay taxes. The sooner we weaken the enemy by introducing industrial rivals into his country, the better it will be for us.

If it be difficult to settle our army all over the South, let there be at least a vigorous beginning made in Texas, and other States. With Texas thoroughly colonized from the North and from Europe, sedition would be under constant check, and its boasted cotton supremacy completely held in by an unlimited rival supply of free-labor cotton. Every Southern port should be held and governed as New-Orleans is now being treated. In due time there would spring up a new generation of Southrons who would think of us as something else[Pg 165] than cowardly, vulgar, stingy serfs, and learn that social merit is conferred not by being born on this or that piece of 'sacred' dirt, but by full development and exercise of the talents with which God has gifted us.

But to do all this there must be no flinching. This is not the time to prate of the 'unrepresented rights' of traitors, or wince at the prospect of reducing to poverty the men who have labored for years to reduce us to utter ruin!


In the year 1850, and for nearly forty years previous, there could be seen almost every day in the streets of New-Orleans, a very peculiar and remarkable looking old gentleman. Tall and straight as a pillar, with stern, determined features, lit up by eyes of uncommon, almost unnatural brilliancy, with his hair combed back and gathered in a sort of queue, and dressed in the fashion of half a century ago, to wit, an old blue coat, with high collar, well-brushed and patched but somewhat 'seedy' pantaloons, of like date and texture, hat somewhat more modern, but bearing unmistakable proof of long service and exposure to sun and rain; old round-toed shoes, the top-leathers of which had survived more soles than the wearer had outlived souls of his early friends and companions; a scant white vest, ruffled shirt, and voluminous white cravat, completed the costume of this singular gentleman, who, with his ancient blue silk umbrella under his arm, and his fierce eye fixed on some imaginary goal ahead, made his way through the struggling crowds which poured along the streets of New-Orleans.

The last time this strange and spectral figure was seen making its accustomed rounds was on the twenty-sixth of October, 1850. On that day, a very remarkable event occurred, which attracted the notice of passers-by and was even snatched up as an item by the ever-vigilant reporters of the daily press; this consisted simply in a notable variation from the routine and habits of the old gentleman in the long-tailed blue. He was seen to stop on Canal street, to hesitate for a few moments, and then deliberately enter an omnibus bound for the lower part of the city. Such an occurrence created quite a sensation among street-corner gossippers. There must really be some new and pressing emergency, which could produce this departure from the custom and invariable habits of forty years; so said every one who knew the old gentleman. The omnibus stopped at the court-house; the subject of these observations and his blue umbrella emerged from it, and both soon disappeared in the corridor leading to the so-called halls of justice.

That was the last that was ever seen of the strange old gentleman on the streets of New-Orleans. The evening journals of the next day contained the following obituary:

'Died this morning, the twenty-seventh of October, 1850, at McDonoghville, opposite the city of New-Orleans, after a short illness, John McDonogh, a native of Baltimore, but for forty years a resident of Louisiana.'

And the strange old man, who could not ride a few squares in the omnibus without attracting the attention of every body and exciting public curiosity to such a degree, was the millionaire, the Crœsus of the South, the largest land-owner in the United States. He had reached the advanced age of seventy, and his remarkable vigor and health had never given way under the pressure of the severest and most incessant labor. Generation upon generation had lapsed into the grave under his eye. A few, a very few shriveled old men were known[Pg 166] to him as cotemporaries. Suddenly, while pursuing so eagerly his imaginary goal, he was seized with faintness on the street. Other men would have taken a cab, and ridden home, or at least to a physician's; but when did John McDonogh turn aside from business to relieve any weakness or want? He had an important document to file in court. It must be done that day. He is too weak to walk. There is the omnibus; the fare is only a dime; but that dime is so much taken from the poor, for John McDonogh is only an agent for the poor, so appointed and called of God. Such were the reflections that passed through his mind before he could be induced to perpetrate this serious violation of the settled rules of a life, this single blot and stain on a career of unbroken self-abnegation. With a sigh, he took his seat in the omnibus.

It was his last ride.

In a cold, desolate, dreary, brick building, constituting almost the only visible sign of the existence of the town of McDonoghville, situate on the right bank of the Mississippi, opposite to the centre of New-Orleans, and in a large room, the furniture of which was old-fashioned, worn, and time-stained, there lay on a small hard mattress the gaunt figure of the millionaire, tortured with pain and fast sinking under the ravages of that terrible disease, the Asiatic cholera. The only beings near were negroes; no white persons were ever allowed to spend the night under that roof. Those negroes were the rich man's slaves in law, but companions and friends in fact. His immense business, his vast estates were administered through them. Even his documents were copied by them. They were true to him in his moment of distress and sickness. All that their limited knowledge of medicine could suggest was done for his relief. At last, in disregard of his command, a physician was brought from the city, who pronounced his condition a very critical one. The doctor's first demand was for brandy.

'Massa, there an't bin no brandy in this house for twenty years,' was the reply of an old, gray-headed domestic.

A servant was dispatched to the nearest grocery; but it proved to be too late. The dying man perceived his condition, and requested that his lawyer should be sent for. In an hour that gentleman arrived. He was just in time.

'Roselins,' he said, addressing one of the most eminent of the lawyers of the New-Orleans bar, as he held his hand, 'You see I am going; you see I am not afraid to die. Take care of the estate; 'tis not mine,'tis God's and the poor's.' And thus, without a struggle, the soul of John McDonogh passed to its Maker.

His death was truly a desolate one. No devoted relatives or friends gathered around his couch to cheer his last moments with those tender tokens of love and sorrow which so sweeten the otherwise bitter cup of death. No soft hand of woman smoothed his pillow or relieved the agony of pain and suffering by the timely opiate or emollient. No weeping little ones were there to cheer his heart with the assurance that on their dear pledges of affection his name and virtues will live after him. His lawyer, physician, and his servants were the only witnesses to the mortal agony of one who could have commanded troops of devoted friends, and who possessed the qualities which might have adorned the domestic and social circle.

So departed this life the rich and eccentric possessor of acres sufficient to have made a duchy or a kingdom, and of money adequate to the maintenance of the dignity and power of such a position.

But if his death and funeral were attended by so few witnesses, an occasion quickly followed which was honored by the presence of a large, eager, curious crowd. It was when his will was probated and read in court. Intense was the curiosity of the public to know what disposition the eccentric old man had made of his enormous property. This feeling was soon gratified. The will was produced. It was a curious docu[Pg 167]ment, written on stout foolscap by the testator himself, in a remarkably neat, clear hand, with the lines as close as type, and his autograph signed to every page. Being an holographic will, under the law of Louisiana it required no witness. Ever since 1838, this will had lain among certain old papers of the deceased; and yet, during all this time, it had been 'the thought by day and dream by night' of the devoted old millionaire. In its preparation, he had consulted the most eminent lawyers and studied the most approved law-books bearing on his grand scheme. Truly, a curious, bold, and gigantic scheme it was. But let us to the will. In a slow, solemn and impressive tone, the judge proceeded to read to an eager and interested multitude this remarkable testament.

After setting forth, in the usual form, his nativity, his present residence, his belief in God and in the uncertainty of life, and that he has no heirs living in the ascending or descending line, and directing an inventory of his property to be taken immediately after his death, he proceeds to bequeath to the children of his sister, a widow lady in Baltimore, a ten-acre lot in Baltimore, the usufruct to remain in the widow, with six thousand dollars in cash. He then emancipates his old servants, ten in number, whom he designates. The rest of his slaves he provides shall be sent to Liberia. Certain of them are to be sent after serving those who shall succeed to his estate for fifteen years. The slaves to be sent to Liberia are to be supplied with plows, hoes, spades, axes, clothing, garden-seeds, etc.; also with letters of recommendation to the colonists, and with a copy for each of the volume of the Holy Gospel of the Old and New Testament, as the most precious of all the gifts we have it in our power to give or they to receive. The will then proceeds to provide:

'And for the more general diffusion of knowledge and consequent well-being of mankind, convinced as I am that I can make no disposition of those worldly goods which the Most High has been pleased so bountifully to place under my stewardship, that will be so pleasing to him as that by means of which the poor will be instructed in wisdom and led into the path of virtue and holiness.'

He gives all the residue of his estate to the corporations of New-Orleans and Baltimore, in equal proportions of one half to each, for the several intents and purposes set forth, and especially for the establishment of Free Schools for all classes and castes of color, wherein they shall all be instructed in the knowledge of the Lord and in reading, writing, arithmetic, history, geography, etc., provided that the Bible shall be used as one of the class-books, and singing taught as an art.

And now comes the ingenious scheme which had engaged the constant thought and study of the testator for forty years, by which the grand passion of his soul for accumulation might survive the dissolution of his mortal frame and still direct and control the acquisitions of his life. Of his real estate, no part is ever to be sold; but it is all to be let out on leases, never to exceed twenty-five years, to be improved by the tenants or lessees. At the expiration of those leases, the property is to revert, free of cost, to his estate, to be thereafter rented out by the month or year. All his personal property is to be sold and converted into real estate, the aggregate of which is styled his general estate, which is 'to constitute' a permanent fund on interest, as it were, namely, a real estate, affording rents, no part of which fund (of the principal) shall ever be touched, divided, sold, or alienated, but shall forever remain together as one 'estate.'

The net amount of rents to be divided equally between the two cities, to be applied as follows:

1. An annuity for forty years of one eighth part, or twelve and a half per cent of the net yearly revenue of rents of the whole of the estate, to the American Colonization Society, provided the sum does not exceed twenty-five thousand dollars a year.[Pg 168]

2. For an asylum for the poor of both sexes, of all ages and castes of color, where they may be sheltered, clothed, fed, and taken care of, made useful according to their respective degrees of health, strength, and capacity, and mendicity thereby be banished from the streets of the cities, he gives one eighth, or twelve and a half per cent of the net revenue of rents, until the sum shall reach six hundred thousand dollars, when it shall cease. This legacy is to be received by commissioners appointed by the corporations, who, as they receive, shall invest the amount in bank stocks or other good securities, on landed estate on interest, so as to augment the amount thereof by the accumulation of interest to the largest possible amount up to the time when the last of the annuity shall be received, when the commissioners shall proceed to take such part of said sum, not to exceed one third of the whole of principal and interest, and invest in the purchase of real estate and buildings, furniture, etc., essential for the asylum; the residue to be invested in real estate, which is never to be sold, but always rented out for the support of the asylum. The locality and character of the buildings are particularly described. It is recommended that the persons who shall reside in this asylum be employed in the cultivation of the mulberry-trees, (this was during the morus multicaulis mania.)

3. For the Orphan Boys' Asylum in New-Orleans—an existing institution—one eighth, or twelve and a half per cent of the net yearly revenue of rents. This annuity is to be set aside and deposited in some bank-paying interest, until it reaches four hundred thousand dollars, when it shall cease. This fund as it accumulates is to be invested in real estate, which is never to be sold, but rented out, and the rents devoted to the charity.

4. For a School-Farm in the city of Baltimore, on an extensive scale, for the destitute and the poorest of the poor of the city of Baltimore, Maryland; secondly, of every town and village of said State; and thirdly, of all the great maritime cities of the United States, of all classes and castes of color, from four years to sixteen, where they shall be sheltered, lodged, clothed, fed, instructed in the Christian religion, and a plain education given them, and taught husbandry practically, as well as the science of agriculture, providing that the Bible shall be read and singing taught, especially 'divine psalmody,' one eighth part, or twelve and a half per cent of the whole revenue of the general estate, to be paid until it shall amount to three millions of dollars, when it shall cease. This sum, too, as it accrues, is to be invested in real estate, until the whole amount of three millions is received. One sixth of the rents from this investment is to be applied to the purchase of the School-Farm, the other five sixths to be invested in lots in Baltimore, which shall be leased out and the rents applied to the support of the farm.

The modes in which these various institutions are to be governed and directed are then set forth in tedious detail, interlarded with many rather trite and moralizing reflections on the importance of having the young reared up in habits of virtue and industry. A complex system of government is arranged, and great care taken that the funds thus bequeathed to charitable institutions shall never be controlled by the corporations of the two cities. It is also provided, that

'No compromise shall ever take place between the Mayor, Aldermen, and inhabitants of the city of Baltimore, in Maryland, and the Mayor, Aldermen, and inhabitants of the city of New-Orleans, nor shall any agreements be made between these two cities contrary to the directions of the will. If such compromise or agreement be made, these legacies shall be void, and the States of Maryland and Louisiana shall receive the general estate half and half, for the purpose of educating the poor of said States, and in case of any lapse of the legacies to the cities, the States shall inherit the general estate.'

After these dispositions and directions, the testator proceeds:

'Now, with the view of setting forth and explaining more fully and particularly (if[Pg 169] it is possible) my desires and intentions as expressed in the foregoing dispositions of this my last will and testament, in relation to my general estate, I will add, that the first, principal, and chief object I have at heart, (the object which has actuated and filled my soul from early boyhood with a desire to acquire fortune,) is the education of the poor (without the cost of a cent to them) in the cities of New-Orleans and Baltimore, and their respective suburbs, in such a manner that every poor child and youth of every color in those places may receive a common English education, (based, however, be it particularly understood, on a moral and religious one, that is, the pupils shall on particular days he instructed in morality and religion, and school shall be opened and closed daily with prayer.) And in time, when the general estate will yield the necessary funds, (for in time its revenue will be very large,) over and above what will be necessary to the education of the poor of those two cities and their respective suburbs, it is my desire and request that the blessings of education may be extended to the poor throughout every town, village, and hamlet in the respective States of Louisiana and Maryland, and was it possible, through the whole of the United States of America.'

After paying off all the annuities, which the testator thinks will be completed in forty years, the net annual revenue of rents of the general estate is to be equally divided, one half to each, between the said two cities of Baltimore and New-Orleans, for the purpose of educating the poor.

The testator then proceeds to inculcate a better feeling between the poor, and rich, declaring that the latter are 'reservoirs in which the Most High makes to flow the rich streams of his beneficence, to be laid up and husbanded for his all-wise and all-seeing purposes, and for seasons of distress and affliction to the poor. Instead, then, of looking on them as their greatest enemies, they should, on the contrary, consider them as they really are, their best friends. This is the position of all rich men, whose hearts occupy the right place in their bosoms, stand toward the poor.'

Then follows a remarkable and consoling confession of the superior happiness of the poor man:

'Besides, let the poorer classes of the world be consoled, assured that the labor-loving, frugal, industrious, and virtuous among them possess joys and happiness in this life which the rich know not and can not appreciate; so well convinced am I (after a long life and intercourse with my fellow-men of all classes) of the truth 'that the happiness of this life is altogether on the side of the virtuous and industrious poor,' that had I children, (which I have not,)' [how lively and sagacious the apprehension of the old millionaire lest some putative offspring might come forward to disturb his darling bequests!] 'and a fortune to leave behind me at death, I would bequeath, after a virtuous education, (to effect which nothing should be spared,) a very small amount to each, merely sufficient to excite them to habits of industry and frugality, and no more. As the poor man's friend, then, I recommend to him to honor and respect the virtuous rich, and to lay these observations to their heart and to store them up in their mind. And to the rich, I would say, (if they own feelings, and worthy of their regard,) 'Give them an occasional reflection.' Hoping thereby, that the world may advance in happiness, in virtue, and holiness.'

Lastly, the old man grows tender, sentimental, and poetic, He who for forty years had never been seen or known to manifest a single emotion of gentleness, of tender feeling or sentiment, of love of children, of nature, or any domestic affection, in his last will desires to be held in loving remembrance by the fresh young souls for whose benefit he declares he has led his long career of toil, of self-sacrifice, and devotion, to gain. The association of sweet flowers, sprinkled over a green grave by the hands of innocent children, with the life and character of one of the most intense, hard and severe devotees to Mammon that ever lived, is a strange and incongruous one, but it was a picture which appears to have been very distinctly sketched on the imagination of John McBonogh, as will appear from the following clauses in his will:

'I request my executors (hereinafter named) to see that my funeral is plain, made without parade, and with the least possible expenses. And (I was near forgetting that) I have still one small request to[Pg 170] make, one little favor still to ask, and it shall be the last: It is, that it may be permitted annually to the children of the free schools (situate the nearest to the place of my interment) to plant and water a few flowers around my grave. This little act will have a double tendency: it will open their young and susceptible hearts to gratitude and love to their divine Creator for having raised up (as the humble instrument of his bounty to them) a poor, frail worm of earth like me, and teach them at the same time, what they are, whither they came, and whence they must return.'

Such was John McDonogh's grand theory of philanthropy, which he had devoted so many years of sacrifice, study, and labor, to mature and prepare.

Accompanying the will, and inclosed in the same box, were certain memoranda of instructions to his executors, who were distinguished citizens of Baltimore and New-Orleans, including Henry Clay, of Kentucky, and K. R. Gurley, of Washington City, These directions to his executors are very minute and specific. Certain observations in this document are worthy of being copied, as characteristic. His reasons for preferring to invest in land are thus stated:

'For the base of a permanent revenue, (to stand through all time, with, the blessing of the Most High,) I have preferred the earth, 'a part of the solid globe.' One thing is certain, it will not take wings and fly away, as silver and gold, government and bank-stocks often do. It is the only thing in this world of ours which approaches to any thing like permanency; or in which at least there is less mutation than in things of man's invention. The little riches of this world, therefore, which the Most High has placed in my hands, and over which he has been pleased to place and make me his steward, I have invested therein, that it may yield (its fruits) an annual revenue to the purpose I have destined it forever.'

He also states his motives, as follows:

'My soul has all my life burned with an ardent desire to do good—much good, great good—to my fellow-man, as it was chiefly by that means, and through that channel, that I could bend, greatly bend to the honor and glory of my Lord and Master,—which was my soul's first, great, chief object and interest.'

He says, however, he has much to complain of the world, and gives instances of its injustice, especially in suits, where his just claims were ignored because he was rich:

'They said of me: 'He is rich, old, without wife or child; let us take from him, then, what he has.' Infatuated men! they knew not that it was an attempt to take from themselves, for I was laboring, and had labored all my life, not for myself, but for them and their children. Their attempts, however, made me not to swerve either to the right hand or to the left, although to see and feel so sorely their injustice and ingratitude made me often lament the frailty, the perversity, and sinfulness of our fallen nature. I persevered in an onward course, determined, as the steward and servant of my Master, to do them good whether they would have it or not. And I have so strove, so labored, to the last. The result is in the hands of Him who fixes and determines all results; he will do therewith as seemeth good unto himself.'

Who was John McDonogh, the maker of the foregoing will, and contriver of such a grand scheme of charity? The answer to this inquiry will be the most interesting part of this narrative. John McDonogh was born in Baltimore, Maryland, in 1779. The only incidents of his youth that are known are, that he was a clerk in a mercantile store in an inland town of Maryland; that he was noted then for eccentricities, and for an excess of imagination, which led to the apprehension that he was not entirely of sound mind. Still his energy and intelligence secured him employment and the confidence of his employers. About the year 1800 he was sent out to New-Orleans by a house in Baltimore, with a letter of credit and considerable resources. He engaged largely in business, but soon renounced his agency, and starting on his own account, became a leading and prosperous merchant. In a few years he accumulated a large fortune—say at least three hundred thousand dollars—then a vast amount in the colony. He was one of the nabobs of the city. His style of living and habits conformed to his position and resources. His mansion was one of the most showy[Pg 171] and luxurious in the city. He kept his carriages and horses, his cellar of costly wines, and entertained on a scale of great extravagance and sumptuousness. He was, in fact, the centre of fashion, frivolity, sociability, and even of the fashionable dissipations of the day. His person, which even in extreme old age was remarkable for dignity, erectness, and courtliness, at the period we write of, was conspicuous for all the graces of manhood. Indeed, he was styled the handsomest man in the colony. That such a young man should attract the favorable notice of ambitious Creole beauties who then composed the only female society in New-Orleans, of managing mothers, desirous of providing for their daughters, or of fathers, who, in addition to the latter motive, might also desire to secure a connection which might promote their own business prospects, was quite natural. The handsome American merchant, with his still handsomer fortune, was, therefore, much courted. Though always gay, gallant, and polite, Mr. McDonogh proved for some time invulnerable to even the charms of Creole beauty. At last there were indications that a young Orleanoise of fortune equal to his own, and of personal charms that were the theme of general praise and admiration, had captured the obdurate Crœsus. This young damsel was then emerging into sweet sixteen. She was the toast and heiress of the city. Her name and family were among the oldest in the French and Spanish colonies. Her father was the venerable Senor Don Pedro Almonastre, an old official under the Spanish government, who, by prudent investments, accumulated a large property in the very centre of New-Orleans. He it was who donated the ground on which the Cathedral of St. Louis now stands. It is for the rest of his soul that mass is offered up and the bells are tolled every Sunday afternoon in this venerable temple.

The daughter and only child of Almonastre—her maiden name we forget—was born in the Colony, of a French Creole mother. She had attained the age of sixteen about the year 1811. It was then that Mr. McDonogh's propositions for an alliance were favorably considered, and all the arrangements were made for the betrothal of the parties. Suddenly, however, a new actor appeared on the stage, who overturned this well-arranged scheme. There resided in the city a grim, austere, and wealthy man, who had served in the French and Spanish armies, who was noted no less for his ferocity and pride—which had been displayed in several sanguinary duels—than for his wealth. He had an only son, a handsome, graceful, and fascinating young man, who, at the suggestion of his father, and perhaps at the prompting of his own heart, stepped forward to lay his claims at the feet of the lovely heiress of Almonastre. Fortunately for the cause of humanity, as will appear hereafter, though unfortunately for the American merchant, the young Frenchman supplanted him in the regard of the fair Creole.

The alliance of two such wealthy families as the Pontalbas and Almonastres, was a great event in the city, and it was duly celebrated by many brilliant festivities, at the close of which the happy couple departed for Paris, accompanied by the father of the young man. Purchasing a splendid hotel in the Faubourg St. Germain, the Pontalbas gave themselves up to all the fashionable dissipations of that gay city. The younger Pontalba was appointed by Napoleon one of his pages, with the title of Count. Leaving them to continue their gay life, we return to New-Orleans.

The day after the marriage of Miss Almonastre to young Pontalba, there stepped into the office of an old auctioneer on St. Louis street, no less an individual than the rich and elegant American merchant, John McDonogh, Esq.

'Sir,' remarked the merchant to the auctioneer, at the same time handing him a voluminous roll of paper, 'there is the inventory of my furniture, carriages, horses, liquors, stores, plate, and[Pg 172] all that pertains to my establishment in Chartres street I desire you to sell them all for cash, immediately. Accordingly in three days the extensive establishment of Mr. McDonogh was all converted into money, to the great surprise and deep regret of his many friends and guests. With the proceeds he purchased a small, lonely house, on the opposite bank of the river, where, with scarcely furniture enough to satisfy the most ordinary use and demands of humble life, he immured himself in perfect seclusion. From that period until his death—forty long years—he ceased to have any connection or association with the world except in the course of business. He would neither dispense hospitality himself nor share that of others. Purchasing all the land around him, he placed himself beyond the curiosity and annoyance of near neighbors. His negro servants alone were permitted to reside in his house, and they were the depositories of the secrets of his household, and acted as his clerks and agents in all his transactions with the outside world.

Whilst thus socially secluded and morose, Mr. McDonogh continued to prosecute his acquisition of property with augmented vigor and ardor. It was about this time his passion for accumulating vast acres of waste and suburban land began to manifest itself. All his views regarded the distant future. The present value and productiveness of land were but little regarded by him. His only recreation and pleasure were in estimating the value of his swamp and waste land fifty, a hundred, and even a thousand years to come. This passion at last gained such an ascendency over him that he seemed to court and luxuriate in waste and desolation. He would buy cultivated places and allow them to go to ruin. He would build on his lots in the city miserable shanties and rookeries, which would taint the neighborhood and enable him to buy out his neighbors at low rates. One of his favorite plans of operation was to purchase the back-lands of plantations on the river, the value of which would be increased enormously by the improvements in front of them. So he eagerly pounced upon all the lands in the neighborhood of the towns and villages in the State. One of the most brilliant of his feats in this sphere was the completion of his lines of circumvallation around the city of New-Orleans. For many years he pursued this object with the greatest ardor and intensity. Commencing at the upper end of the city, he stole gradually around through the swamps, purchasing large belts of land, until at last, a few years before his death, meeting one of his old friends in the street, he slapped him on the shoulder, and with his face full of enthusiasm and joy,—exclaimed: 'Congratulate me, my friend; I have achieved the greatest victory of my life. I have drawn my lines around the city, and now entirely embrace it in my arms—all for the glory of God and the good of my race.'

During all this eager pursuit of acres there was never any manifestation of selfishness or of the ordinary repulsive characteristics of grasping avarice. It is true, he was exacting, punctual, and opinionated. He pursued his own course in all matters, but there was no misanthropy or harshness in his manner or deportment. He rarely gave for charitable or other purposes, for the reason that he would never sell any property he acquired, because he said it was not his; that he was only the steward or agent of God for certain great designs. His agency, however, did not include a power to sell. Hence he could not be induced by any offer or consideration to alienate any property he had once acquired. Abstemious to a fault, withholding himself from all the enjoyments and associations of the world, he devoted his time to the care of his large estate, to the suits in which such acquisitions constantly involved him, working for seventeen hours out of the twenty-four, the greater part of which labor consisted in writing the necessary documents relating to his titles, in corresponding with his lawyers and overseers. For the fifty[Pg 173] years of his residence in New-Orleans, he never left the State, and rarely, if ever, passed beyond the limits of the corporation. It was well known that he was entirely wrapped up in some grand scheme of charity, the nature of which, however, was only known to a few lawyers, with whom he consulted in regard to the legality of his proposed dispositions, though none of them knew the mode and form in which those dispositions were to be made.

McDonogh's scheme was certainly a grand one. In the execution of it, a man of his character and mind might well feel and display the extraordinary zeal and enthusiasm that gave to his appearance, habits, and conduct the characteristics of a monomaniac. Without ever once turning aside for pleasure, ambition, curiosity, affection, or enmity, he steadily pursued his great design, until death released him from the severe servitude to which he had bound himself. But, save in this entire self-abnegation and social exclusion, Mr. McDonogh had none of the habits of the miser. He was not a usurer, a money-lender, or a speculator. He did not extort his riches from the distresses and weaknesses of his fellow-men. He acquired by legitimate purchase, by entries on public lands. He dealt altogether in land. Stocks, merchandise, and other personal securities were eschewed by him. The wonder is, how, with a comparatively small revenue, his property not being productive, and his favorite policy being to render his lands wild and unsuited for cultivation, he was able to go on every year expanding the area of his vast possessions. Such enormous accumulations are not surprising under the operation of compound interest on sums of money loaned; but when effected by purchases of unproductive lands, they constitute a puzzle which the most intimate of Mr. McDonogh's friends have found it difficult to unravel.

So much for the labor and practice of realities of the life of the millionaire. We must not conclude our sketch without rounding off the romance of that life which is the starting-point in the strange career pursued by him for forty years, with such ascetic severity and undeviating fidelity. What became of the betrothed of the gay and wealthy young American, from whom he had experienced the shock and disappointment that threw so much gloom over and produced such a thorough change in his future life? She had left with her gallant young husband, in bright hopes of a brilliant future. For some years their life in Paris was one of gayety, pleasure, and joyfulness. In the course of a few years, the dissipations of Paris began to pall upon the taste of the young couple. With unbounded wealth and means of enjoyment, they grew ennuyéed, discontented, and finally contentious. Jealousy, like a serpent, stole into their household, and involved the mind of the husband in her snaky embrace. Rumors reached his ear which nourished this passion, until it exploded in a violent and irreconcilable quarrel. One of the chief instigators of the young Count, in this quarrel with his high-spirited wife, was his own father, who, in the retirement of a chateau near Paris, grew daily more morose and misanthropic. He had heard that his son had been dishonored, and his rage and bitterness were unbounded. The son abandoned his wife's hotel, and repaired to his father's chateau, where the two lived in seclusion and gloom. After they had been separated for some time, the Countess was either enticed by lures thrown out by the elder Pontalba, or of her own accord resorted to the chateau, for the purpose of consulting the Count relative to certain dispositions of their joint property, or certain arrangements for the education of their children, of whom there were three. The son was not at home; but the father, receiving her in the hall, invited her into his study. In a few moments afterward, the servants in the chateau were aroused by the report of a pistol, followed by the scream of a woman, and by another report; then all was silent. Rushing toward the study of Mr. Pontalba, they forced[Pg 174] the door open—it had been locked on the inside—and there a terrible spectacle was presented. The Countess lay on the floor, bathed in blood, which gushed in torrents from a large wound in her breast, whilst her dress was burning from the nearness of the shot by which the wound had evidently been inflicted. But a still ghastlier object lay near. It was the body of the elder Pontalba, her husband's father, who had blown off the top of his skull with a large dragoon's pistol, which he still grasped in his hand. Though insensible, it was discovered that the Countess was not quite dead. A surgeon was soon obtained, and on examination it was discovered that though her wound was a terrible one—three buck-shot and one large bullet having entered her breast—yet there was some hope for her. After incredible suffering and long confinement, she recovered; though to the day of her death she will feel the effects of the terrible wound, to which was added the mutilation of her hand, which caught the bullet.

The causes and circumstances of that tragedy were never unveiled to the world. Nor is there any great desire to penetrate the mystery. The Countess got well, and continued her fashionable life, appropriating a large portion of her great rental in New-Orleans to the purchase of property and the improvement of her elegant hotel in Paris. The Revolution of 1830 found the Countess a fierce Bourboniste, and produced such apprehension of confiscation, and danger to her life and liberty, that she concluded to return to New-Orleans. Here she found that her property had greatly augmented in value, and after a short sojourn in her native city, discovering that Louis Philippe's dynasty was an unproscriptive one, she returned to Paris, where she resided until the Revolution of 1848 again filled her with alarm for her large possessions. Beside, she was well known to be a conspicuous Legitimiste of the party of Henry V. Again she returned to New-Orleans, full of horror of Red Republicanism and Socialism, and with disgust for the fickleness of the French.

Directing her attention, with characteristic energy and ardor, to the improvement of her property which incloses Jackson Square, the principal public place in New-Orleans, she built some forty elegant houses, and then assuming the government of the municipality, she succeeded in inducing the authorities to cut down the old trees on the square, and to have it laid off in the parterre style. The 'Woodman spare that tree' sentiment strongly opposed this reform; but it was vain to resist the Countess. The trees obstructed the view of her fine rows of houses, and down they must come, and down they did come, very much to the improvement of the city, and to the full justification of the taste and good sense of the Countess.

After thus improving her property, and augmenting her resources, the Countess thought she might trust herself again in Paris, though a parvenu filled the throne which, in her view, was justly the property of the elder branch of the Bourbons.

But before she left, an incident occurred which must close this desultory sketch. It happened one day, while the Countess was in a notary's office, for the purpose of signing some deeds, that a tall, grave, and eccentric-looking old gentleman entered, and seeing the notary engaged, took his seat to wait his turn. After completing her signature of the deeds, the Countess, raising her eyes from the parchment, perceived that she was the object of close and keen observation of the eccentric old gentleman with the very brilliant and piercing eyes. A single glance served to bring that face and form distinctly back to her memory. Rushing up to the old gentleman, she threw her arms around his neck, in an affectionate embrace, exclaiming:

'Oh! Mr. McDonogh, is it you? I have not forgotten you during our long separation.' And after a pause, her emotions checking her utterance, she continued: 'We were once betrothed;[Pg 175] it would have been better for both if we had married. Is it too late to repair that fatal error?'

For the first time for forty years, the old man was deeply affected by a tender and human feeling. The ancient love was aroused from the deep recess of his heart, where it had kin dormant and forgotten, and for a moment triumphed over the passion which had been growing and expanding for the half of his lifetime, until it had gained the entire mastery of his soul. Greatly moved by this penitence of his once-loved betrothed, Mr. McDonogh begged to be permitted to consult his better judgment, and tearing himself from the bewitchments of the Countess, he repaired instantly to the office of his lawyer. Walking in with the appearance of great excitement, he paced the office of the lawyer in an anxious and excited manner for some time, to the profound astonishment of his ancient counselor. At last the cause of this emotion was explained, when, turning to his lawyer, Mr. McDonogh confessed that he was under a great excitement, produced by meeting his old love, the Countess. 'And what would you think now, R——, if I were to marry her?'

'I should think,' replied the unsentimental counselor, 'that you had become crazy.'

'Ah?' replied the millionaire interrogatively, and then pausing thoughtfully, he continued: 'And you would think right—you would think right; so let us to business.'


In choosing a caption for the heterogeneous collection of reflections that are likely to be the result of the 'present writing,' the superscriber makes no apology for his title not being also a topic to any further extent than its consideration in this paragraph. The object held in view in giving any name to the succeeding lucubrations was merely to obtain a starting-point; it being conceded that the commencement of a tas of papers need have no greater influence on their course than the point of departure of a railroad-train exercises on its terminus and intermediate stopping-places. To resort then to my heading or its derivations for any indication of my purpose in what may follow, would be futile, and I am free to disclaim any premeditate purpose of governing my pen by either hilariter or celeriter, save as accident may determine. This, at least, gives hope of variety in the consequences of my present step; but whether spiciness will also ensue, will depend entirely on the humor of the writer and the complaisance of the reader hereof. So with no further introduction, the following children of my moods are presented for the kind consideration of those under whose eyes they may fall.

Has a man a right to use an old pun in making a new joke? This was a question which arose in the Quidnuncs coterie the other evening, after Muggins had sent in the following, for the comic column of a weekly paper, the editor of which had returned it gratefully but firmly, on the score of superannuation: 'If Truth lie at the bottom of a well, why should we be surprised that so many kick the bucket before they are able to reach it?'

Slight sympathy was expressed for Muggins, but in my opinion that was owing rather to the depravity evinced in the particular attempt than to any condemnation of his conduct in making an old joke answer the purpose of a new one. I confess that I don't see why a[Pg 176] good pun should be thrown aside after it has served as the soul of a single sentence. I am a supporter of the doctrine of Transmigration of Puns. For a true pun always has a humorous idea behind the verbal quip that is its prominent characteristic. And though the verbal quip may be 'old as the hills,' the joke may present a face fresh as that of a young maiden and bear a meaning merry as her eyes. Thus an adept in this art once renovated two veritable antiques:

'I tell thee, Binks, that the proposition is incontrovertible; any thing that is worth doing is worth being well done.'

'Well, then, brother Noggs, what hast thou to say to a beef-steak? Does not thy rule fail thee there?'

'Truly it doth, Binks; but thou wilt grant me that thine is a rare exception?'

'That will I, right readily.' And both laughed heartily, and went their ways.

'Sir, you are treading on my favorite corn,' was the mild protest of one in a crowd against the act of a neighbor who had encroached on his pedal extremities, by attempting to violate the philosophical axiom that two bodies can not occupy the same space simultaneously. The remark raised a laugh; yet it involved a great truth. Each of us has at least one pet infirmity, which we nurse as earnestly, with a view to its becoming chronic, (perhaps unwittingly,) as we strive earnestly to eradicate other morbid troubles. And the position is true regarding moral as well as physical invalids. Who has not often been doubly irritated by the removal of his source of irritation? Thus Paterfamilias Bloggs, having been 'riled' by the overcrowding of the omnibus in which he proceeds homeward, makes up his mind that if Materfamilias B. has not provided fish-balls for supper, he will 'raise a row.' And he so gloats in expectancy over the imaginary denunciation that he will inflict on that long-suffering female, that he is quite disappointed, on entering his basement, to discover at a glance that a dish of beautifully-browned fish-balls decks the evening table. So Bloggs' wrath is smothered, and smoulders for the rest of the evening, finding insufficient vent in boxed ears for the children, and short, crisp replies to civil questions from the older members of the family. Thus you see that removing a cause does not always do away with a consequence.

Who ever gave a satisfactory excuse for an inopportune laugh? Certainly, no child transgressing in this particular ever failed to receive less than ten-fold its due of punishment therefor, as many grown persons will join me in testifying. Especially is this true in instances of church cachinnation. I solemnly aver that I have felt a stronger tendency to hearty laughter in a church than I ever experienced in a theatre, and yet I could not and can not give any satisfactory reason for the inclination. I wanted to laugh for the child's reason, 'Because.'

Not many months since, in a land thousands of miles hence, I was stretched upon a bed of sickness. In pursuance of the humane duties of his calling, the minister of the Episcopal Church called upon me, and after a short conversation, proposed addressing the throne of grace. This he did in a few eloquent extemporaneous phrases, closing with the Lord's prayer. Now, from the outset, I felt an uncontrollable inclination to laugh; but for a time succeeded in restraining it. But when, in close succession upon the minister's words, there arose from the next room (separated from us by a thin board partition) a sepulchral echo in the voice of my room-mate, a grim and swarthy miner, who probably had not heard the prayer since he repeated it after his mother at her knee, and from the still potent though long dormant force of habit, now joined in its utterance, the incongruity of my surroundings overcame me, and I electrified the worthy priest by bursting into a guffaw. Looking back on the scene, I can see far more pathos than humor in it; but at the time, the scene was to me irresistibly ludicrous. And oh! the paltry excuse that I raked up.[Pg 177] 'Nervousness,' I think. No matter, I had 'spoiled the whole party and broke up the ball!' 'Tis always the way.

Somebody has said that to be a successful author, it is only necessary to feel what you write. This I deny, for many reasons which I might but will not cite, contenting myself with saying that to write what one feels, though much more gratifying and in a moral sense far more commendable than to conceal or falsify sentiments, is dangerous, and has been known to cause a writer to feel not only more than he wrote or could write, but more than he had any expectation or desire of feeling in such connection. Thus, whenever under an assumed but transparent title, I introduce my friend Scroggs into a little sketch of my production, I never express in that performance my actual estimate of Scroggs, physically or mentally. Nor in my glowing description of the incidents of a trip to Catskill Mountain House, do I confine myself to the expression of what I felt in viewing the many and varied scenes of rural beauty that presented themselves during the progress of that undertaking. Do you suppose that I would run the risk of conveying to Claribella, who was my only companion in that expedition, that I never was more bored in my life, and that my conversation was the result of operating with a constantly working though invisible pump at the well of common-places and platitudes, which a gentleman accumulates for such emergencies in the course of his social experience? Heaven preserve my hair, should I venture on such a step.

'But you digress,' some impatient reader suggests.

Digress! That is an impossibility in an article without a topic. But even if I plead guilty, my impatient critic; did you ever take a walk in the country, and if so, did you choose those broad roads that lead to churches and the village stores and the 'Academy,' or did you plunge, by some little modest path, into the recesses of a grove, careless whither your steps carried you, so content you were to yield to the enchanting guidance of accident? And what though, in following your bent, you were compelled to climb an occasional fence or cross a chance puddle, the satisfaction of coming suddenly upon some pleasant view, or unexpectedly entering an apparently previously unexplored nook, more than atoned for such trifling annoyances. Without digression in some degree, neither spoken nor written language can be made entertaining to the person addressed. Who is more discursive than the Autocrat, the Czar of table-talkers; and whose productions are more charming or wiser? We do not do our everyday thinking in strictly logical or consistent forms. It is sufficient to introduce hypotheses, premises, or syllogisms, when there are ends to be attained by such a course. Impulse is far more attractive than prim consistency in the character of those we love; and if this be true as to pet persons, why not in our favorite writings? So the most charming women I have met would be styled in Spanish las inconsecuentes. Therefore, when amusement is the aim of writing, let digression have full swing.

I envy a good talker. There is no class of persons so generally underrated and vilified, yet this would be a dull world without them. And the faculty is not to be acquired. Really good talkers are born, not made. (And some, I hear a skeptic say, are not to be borne in certain contingencies.) Talk is like a river; it rushes onward, by expression of ideas, making room for thoughts to follow, and the dull elf, whose mouth is a mill-dam, finds his fancies and thoughts accumulate on his brain, till that organ is dull and sodden as is his facial aspect. Why is it that some can only be fluent from the point of a pen, while others can only address their fellows effectively by word of mouth? Of course there are conversational monsters as well as other violations of nature's creative processes. And the more thought that talk holds in solution, the more grateful the[Pg 178] offering. But I have often listened attentively and pleasurably to an hour's flow from the lips of a pretty, graceful woman, or an interesting child, just saying enough myself to prove that sleep had not seized me. And at the subsidence of the tide, I could not for the life of me recall a single idea to which verbal embodiment had been given. Perhaps I had been carried away by the music of tone, or the charming, ever-changing curves of the opening and closing lips, or the dimples in the cheeks, as they budded, blossomed, and faded in the light of the now laughing, now languishing eyes, that never lost their hold of mine, yet never bore mine down by that most intolerable of all social manifestations—a stare.

—I have a friend, who declares that he has lost a smile. Not one from his sweetheart, for that would be either recoverable or replaceable with another. The smile he mourns is—his own. To speak plainly, he has lost, through neuralgia, the control over the risible muscles of his face, and they not only refuse to obey him in his desire and design to beam upon all peaceful comers, but occasionally put in motion another set of facial strings, which give him a depressed and lachrymose air when he would fain appear most jubilant. He says he never till now knew how much of his facial aspect was artificial. His present condition is only relieved when he is under the control of some powerful emotion. Then he can laugh as heartily and present the appearance of so doing as fully as ever. It is only the conventional smile, the bland, self-possessed smile of society, that is utterly gone from him. I elicited the confession by entering his room noiselessly one day, and detecting him in the act of making the gloomiest grimaces at a small boarding-house mirror on the wall. He was much confused, and at first denied any such employment; but ultimately admitted that he had been practicing facial gymnastics for the purpose of simulating the smile he had lost. Perhaps some of our fashionable dentists may be able to aid him by a suggestion. They certainly have more smiles at their command than any class of men that have come under my observation. How singular that the most ferocious quadrupeds and the blandest of men should evince their most contrasted characteristics—fierceness and amenity—by showing their teeth.

I sometimes think those are blessed who are endowed with a coarse organization. Sensitive people are chronic martyrs. Their nerves are so many toes, that their neighbors and friends are perpetually treading on. Not only are the pangs of such more acute, but the occasions of injury are infinitely multiplied by super-susceptibility. Talk of the happy hours of childhood! Ask nine persons out of ten, who are of susceptible organization, at what period in life their sufferings were most intense and unremitting, and if they be gifted with good memories, their reply will be, 'before adolescence.'[3] For susceptibility of nerve implies also high mental capability, acute intelligence, vivid imagination, all of which go to intensify sensation, and thus to aggravate the mischief. And our sympathy is due to one who by one of those strange contradictions in human nature finds herself, a highly nervous creature, the victim of an affection for one of the coarser organizations to which I have alluded. I say victim, for such attachments seldom result happily. The effect produced, in the first instance, by the magnetism of a strong over a weak nature gradually dies away. With it die the brilliant colors in which the beloved has been invested by the belover, and life is thenceforward only lit up by the lamps that heaven sets in the eyes of the little children that some[Pg 179]times cheer the darkness of these ill-assorted unions.

'Sir we are too poor to be economical.' These were the words which I once heard a woman use to a rich relative of her husband, who had followed up his refusal of assistance by allusions to many little short-comings which he had noted in the domestic details of the family. The phrase seems to involve a contradiction; but a little consideration will show even the most superficial thinker that it expresses a truth. Great is the power of ready money. Ready money can save by wholesale purchases. Ready money can save by choice of place of purchase. Ready money can save by choice of proper time for purchase. Ready money can save by discount obtained under threat of discontinuance of trade; a threat futile in the mouths of the poor. Ready money can save in furniture and wearing apparel, by being able to provide the best in fabric and construction, and therefore the most lasting. But it is needless to extend the catalogue of ready money's powers. None know them better than those who seldom are able to obtain their aid.


[3] Quevedo has broadly satirized his faith in 'Childhood's happy hour'. In his Visions of Hell, where Satan, wearied by the continual grumbling of the condemned, requests them to leave, go back to life, be born again, and live it all over. On due reflection, they conclude that rather than suffer the whippings, schoolings, and scoldings incident to boy and girlhood, they—would prefer to stay where they were.—Note by Editor.


The world is undergoing a wonderful change. Even within the memory of some twenty-five years, what events have occurred to verify the remark. Civilization changes all the preconceived perfections of the past, and introduces new scenes of life; it reforms without injuring, and leaves us undecided as to the value of the progress made. New customs and new habits leave man where he was; his nature is still the same, and perhaps he has only engrafted on a faulty structure what neither embellishes nor improves, and shows how slow is the progress of the human mind toward this goal for which it has, since the commencement of time, been bent.

This is peculiarly verified in the 'Orient,' the most ancient of climes and lands. Through the mist of so many centuries, so many thousands of years, the 'far East' has followed the 'even tenor of its way' through revolutions and systems; its usages have been consecrated by time, and the parent has handed down to his son the usages which were more nearly allied to the natural state of man than those of the more famed and progressing 'West.' The animal has had more sway than the intellectual part of his nature, and what the curious traveler most admires is the still primitive condition of the latter. Violence there reigns superior to reason, and if changes be made, the former consults but little the latter in the measures which it adopts for the prosecution of its plans. There is seldom any appeal made by the reformer to the understandings of the people to be reformed; they must blindly adopt the innovations offered, and this without the means of contrasting what they are thus compelled to receive at the hand of the bestower with what they forsake. Tossed in the billows of doubt, they are exposed to the rocks of misconception, and are too often wrecked through the total absence of any chart to guide them in their new voyage of life. The transitory step is always a dangerous one to a people who have not entire confidence in their leader, for his plans may inspire neither conviction nor approval, and if they fail, leave his followers exposed to all the fury of storms without any haven in which to seek a refuge.

Sultan Mahmoud, believing that European civilization was superior to that of the East, imagined that he adopted it,[Pg 180] when he only assumed its exterior, the costume of Frankistan. How little did he know of the defects to which this simplest part of it led. Luckily, he adopted only the habiliments of the male sex, leaving those of the female unchanged. The flowing robes, full of ease and comfort; the turban, soft to the head, and giving it protection from the colds of winter and the heats of summer; the commodious shoe, which leaves the feet uncrumpled and free from the results of the tighter and closer ones of the West, were laid aside for the dress of Europe. The only part of the garb which we use, that he did not assume and compel his people to accept, was the unseemly and uncomfortable hat, and this he would also have taken, had religion not interposed to prevent it. Of all parts of the Christian's costume, the hat is the most calculated to inspire disgust in the sight of the native of the Orient, and if ever he adopts it, it is because it is supposed to cover him with protection against the injustice of his own rulers, and not from any preference or even choice. It is always an object of ridicule, and serves to point many a remark of derision and contempt against the wearer. On the other hand, what is more noble and dignified than the turban, with its snowy white folds, or its varied hues of green or red? Just as the external appearance of the colored man, and the knowledge of his total deprivation of civil abilities perpetuates the existing prejudice against him, so does the dress of the Frank clothe him with all that is distasteful and revolting in the eyes of the native of the East, with his prejudices dating back to the earlier days of the prophets. To pass over the external appearances of the reformed Eastern, let us examine the results of the civilization of Europe with which his costume has clothed him. Tight clothes have unfitted him for the broad and soft luxury of the sofa, and many persons resume the flowing robe and full trowsers within doors, so as to be able to enjoy the comforts which they lost with them. For the same reason, they must sit at a high table, on a high chair. The sleeve of the tight coat scarcely permits of being rolled up, so that the man of the East can return to his primitive use of his fingers in place of the fork, and for this he rejects the coat for the flowing pelisse, or he goes to his meal in his shirt-sleeves. It is amusing to see the homme de bureau, or the humble clerk, endeavoring to sit on his sofa cross-legged, with his writing paraphernalia before him as formerly, or to examine the broad chair which he has had to invent, so as to suit himself to his new transitory state. It may even be doubted whether he has gained any thing by the change, as a cavalier, for the full trowsers were far more comfortable than the present tight pantaloons, and any one who has seen the Bedouin horsemen, with their commodious saddles and flowing robes, must have given them his entire approbation in point of contrasted beauty.

As yet the Oriental has made no innovation in his domestic life and habits, or if any, it is that his ladies wear the slender botine of the Christian lady in place of the loose slipper of former years. As yet there is no commingling of the sexes, no excursions by land and sea in boats or carriages together, in undisturbed and unrestricted familiar intercourse. The lady of the house has not yet met her husband's friends at the dinner-table, at the social soirée, or in the ball-room. He is quite willing to go to these, at the house of his Frank friend, but he has not been convinced of the propriety of the change, and his sovereign has not carried his reforms into harem life. It will require some years yet to fit the Oriental for witnessing the displays of female beauty at such places with the calm indifference of the more accustomed native of Frankistan. He is willing, however, to commingle with the females of his European neighbors' household, even to embrace them in the mysteries of the mazy polka or waltz; but he hesitates admitting that such are the advantages or benefits of civilization. Indeed, it may be doubted whether[Pg 181] his own wife and daughters would suffer such, were they told that they might do so without fear of reproach; for it is mostly to the mothers and wives that the Eastern world owes its tardy progress in the civilization of the West. Some time since, during the late Carnival, there was a Persian ambassador present at a ball given by the Italian minister, attended by the ambassador extraordinary of the Shah of Persia, who had never been to Europe or in a 'civilized European' society. Being asked by a foreign gentleman how he was, and how he liked the ball, he frankly replied, that such an exhibition as that of the beautiful ladies assembled there decollé, etc., had taken him quite by surprise; that it was more than his nerves could stand, and he felt so bad that he thought of leaving the ball and retiring to his own quarters. The same gentleman, to induce him to remain, jocosely told him that it was the paradise of the Christian, whilst his (that of Mussulmans) was in the life to come. At this he smiled, and turning toward a bevy of very handsome young ladies, dressed in the hight of the fashion, his eyes gloating on the fair scene, answered, that he admired the Christian paradise very much, and as the other was somewhat uncertain, he thought he could be satisfied with the persons now around him. It is quite possible that, except for the loss of dignity which would have attended the act, the Shah's ambassador might easily have been induced to join in a polka with one of the infidel houris then present.

Many of the Mussulmans (Turks) of Stamboul come over the Golden Horn to Pera, to witness the merry scenes of the Christian Carnival. They do not select the most fashionable places of resort, and consequently fall into rather doubtful company. They come sometimes with a companion or two, but prefer to have only their own people with them, or at most a toady or two to keep them in countenance. Such a person finds a conspicuous place, where he can see what is going on, throws off his more than half European coat, puts on his loose pelisse, calls for his Tchibook, or pipe, and, it must be added, something very much like hot punch, and goes in for the full enjoyment of the evening. In an hour or two, he is rather 'pulverized,' and very disregardful of what he says and does. The true semi-barbarian then comes to view; he becomes very ostentatious, and is disposed to act the fast man; a friend will always find him a lady, whom he invites to accompany him over to his konak, (private dwelling in Stamboul,) which she refuses; he urges her to play faro or rouge et noir with his money, which she does, until his purse is rather light, and by this time our Turk is so far insensible as to require to be conveyed to his carriage by the toadies or private attendants above mentioned. This he thinks is all right, and calls it à la Franka, or conformably with European civilization and fashion.

The Armenian and Greek ladies, too, are adopting the same ideas of reform and improvement in social life. One of the former, a fair, married lady, of good family, having lately fallen in with a young and handsome foreigner attached to one of the legations, allowed his visits to become more and more frequent, so that one day her husband, returning home rather sooner than expected, caught the couple in flagrante delicto. This was carrying European civilization somewhat to a delicate point; but she shielded herself against the husband's reproaches by the assertion that it was à la Franka, and the matter was compromised without any 'secession movement.'

The late Sultan built a theatre, and had a corps of ballet-girls for private amusement. He frequently gave entertainments at the former to the foreign legations, and one season even attended a bal paré at the British Embassy, and a bal en ordinaire at the French. This rather startled some of his subjects; but as such things were considered à la Franka, it passed over without any serious results. At the former, it is said, an amusing incident occurred,[Pg 182] which, if not altogether true, is bon troveto. The late Sultan was extremely sensitive about coming in close contact with non-believers in the principles of the blessed Prophet. He never could touch the letter accrediting a foreign ambassador without hastening to perform ablutions, and as to conforming to the custom of shaking hands with an infidel, it was too horrible to be thought of for a moment. All animals, except horses, he held in abhorrence, and changed his entire costume several times a day, if he happened to have occasion to expose himself even to the winds blowing from the direction of the infidel hill on which Pera, the residences of the Christians, are built. On his arrival at the ball in question, he was, as is customary, shown into a private apartment, for a moment's repose previous to entering the salon in which hundreds of gay visitors were collected. The apartment happened to be that of the lady of the Ambassador, in fact, her boudoir, in which her poodle-dog, Bijou, had been accustomed to stay. Scarcely had the Sultan taken a seat, before poor Bijou made his appearance, and was at once driven away by some of the frightened attendants; but soon after returning unnoticed, the spiteful brute approached the Sultan, and offered the greatest indignity in his power to the pantaloons of the sensitive monarch. Imagine the indignation which occurred, and the designs of the wily British Ambassador to civilize the Turkish Sultan would have been wholly frustrated had not the chief gardien of the Sultan's wardrobe fortunately brought with him a full fresh suit for his master, in case of eventualities.

On the same occasion, the British Ambassador, for the same laudable purpose of civilizing the various clergy of the Ottoman capital, had insisted upon the Armenian, Greek, and Catholic Armenian Bishops and the Greek Rabbi of the Jews appearing at his bal paré in their canonicals! Against this they strongly remonstrated, but the influence of the Ambassador was greater than their own, and they had to make their débût at his ball in full dress. But this was, however, soon forgotten, as it was all à la Franka.

Some years ago, the late Sultan, on the occasion of the circumcision of one or two of his sons, gave a series of entertainments to his own functionaries, and one to the foreign diplomatic corps, in one of the valleys on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus, called Hyder Pacha. With the view of properly amusing the foreign legations, à la Franka, the Sultan got up an extemporary theatre, adjoining the splendid pavilion, in which his guests were assembled. The play selected as best calculated for the purpose, was the Milliner's Shop, the like of which the Sultan had noticed while passing through the great street of Pera—the windows filled with bonnets, dress-caps, crinolines, etc., and very handsome dolls, some quite as 'large as life,' decollé, and thanks to the miniature crinolines, often showing very well-made chaussures and ankles. The little stage was not much raised above the green sward of the valley—a ditch had been dug out for the use of the orchestra, and the counter of the milliner separated this from the audience. As the whole affair had been got up rather hurriedly, the entrepreneur had not been able to procure a sufficient number of blocks on which to exhibit the bonnets and caps, and as men were readily obtained for the purpose, holes were cut in the counter, through which these thrust their heads, and on them rested the articles in question. A man also figured against the wall, on whom to hang up a ready-made dress or two, while his head also served as a block for a first-rate bonnet with flowers and feathers to suit the occasion. Now the weather had threatened a change, and much to the regret of the Sultan and his Court, who had it at heart to give such an entertainment to the diplomatic corps of Europe as would tell largely in the papers, and prove the great progress made by him in civilization, just as the play commenced, the rain began to fall in torrents. In their[Pg 183] pavilion, the foreign ambassadors, etc., were somewhat secure, but not so the dramatis personæ. The ditch soon filled with water, and the orchestra had to hold their instruments above their heads, while the water rose to their waists, and finally drove them to open 'secession.' But the man-blocks which supported the millinery were still more to be pitied. Their heads were fast in the holes made, and partially closed again in the centre, so that they were unable to escape from the rain which deluged the whole affair. The water fell in torrents over the gay bonnets, caps, crinolines, etc., until they became a mass of tawdry, and the bare pates of those under them came ludicrously into view. It required the assistance of a carpenter and his aids to get the poor fellows free from their bondage, and enable them to seek safety in flight. As to the man fastened against the wall, he bore his torture, and the merriment which he occasioned among the audience, for some time, but finally was compelled to put an end to his part of the entertainment by a timely retreat.

Sultan Mahmoud was the first reformer of the Ottoman Empire, and his second son, Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz, the last. The reforms of the late Sultan, Abd-ul-Mejid, nearly ruined him, and the consequence is, that the present sovereign has wisely concluded to fall back upon some of the older fashions of his people. Mahmoud thought to drive away the remembrance of the Dervish-Janissaries whose violences seldom allowed a Sultan to die of disease, and never of old age. To effect this, he disbanded their several corps, and created new ones, in another dress. Perhaps this was wise at the time, but the object once reached, he might—or his successor, at most—have restored the broken spirit of his people, by a return to their national costume. It was only by force and fear that he induced his new troops to adopt the dress of the deeply detested Ghiaours, and the measure greatly alienated the respect and affections of his subjects, especially those of the interior of the empire. The higher classes of the capital assumed it with less reserve, on account of the economy which it admitted, and because it was à la mode, but the lower were less disposed to lay that one aside which had been worn by their ancestors, and served to designate the true Mussulman. The picturesque costume of the natives of Arabia, of Egypt, Syria, and Albania, had to be thrown aside for the tight pantaloons and coat of the Infidel, and Mahmoud went so far even as to require the Bombardiers of his army to wear a head-dress, black, and tall as a hat, differing from it by the absence of a rim, and open on the top, covered only with a bag of dark silk, drawn together with a cord. This, how-ever, disappeared in the reign of his successor.

The present Sultan has adopted a middle course. Without either restoring the costumes of the Janissaries, or even assimilating the habiliments of his troops to that which they wear in their own country, which would have inspired a strong and useful esprit de corps, he has accepted the uniform of the Zouave and Turcos of the French army. It is sufficiently Oriental to meet the object desired, and is very popular in the Sultan's army. It leaves to the wearer the free use of his limbs, but as a parade-dress will not show so favorably, to European eyes, as the more dignified dress of the Guards. The most difficult part of a military costume is the head-dress; and the common red cap of the Turks, called the Fez, is even more objectionable than the unseemly slouched hat worn in the regular army of the United States. Around this cap the Sultan has had a small turban bound, in one or two folds, which is a relief to the eye, and easily kept in order. It is readily taken off, in case of need, and may be bound around the waist as a sash, or girdle.

This change in the dress of his army has given to his people the idea that their new Sultan is anti-Christian, and will restore the Ottoman Empire to its former state and condition. How far this will be verified, still rests to be[Pg 184] seen. Reforms not entirely needed, and but half carried out, leave the recipients in that transitory state which weakens and demoralizes without effecting any permanent and real benefit. An external change is certainly less efficient than a moral one, but it goes far toward influencing the feelings of patriotism and loyalty which are so essential to man in his political condition, and it is more than probable that the anti-reforms of Sultan Abd-ul-Aziz will effect more real good in his capital, and elsewhere, than the boasted reforms of his illustrious father.


The creative power of man, though so much boasted, is after all but a mere phantom—a vapor which rises from the ground and floats with little change of form from place to place. The diapason which we thought so extensive, appears, on inquiry, to consist of only a few notes, and the changes that may be rung upon them, may almost be counted upon the fingers. Homer's fables are near of kin to those of Shakspeare; the legends of ancient Greece find their details mirrored exactly in the traditions of Spain, Scotland, and Scandinavia. Whether in the remoter fogs of the past some glimmering traces of light may lead us to discover a common origin, a universal fountain, whence proceed pure and limpid all the streams that are contaminated by baser contact in their later course, is a question which might mightily task the most powerful minds. The gods of Greece and Rome are reproduced in Odin and Thor, Freia, and Gerda and Tduna. Aphrodite at Athens, Venus on the Seven Hills, Freia in the North, differ but in name. Dark hair and coal-black eyes, and a warm, sunny beauty may please the ardent inhabitants of Greece and Rome; the Swedes and Germans may bow before golden hair and blue eyes, fair and blooming cheeks. But transport the Grecian Aphrodite to the Dofrefield glaciers, and she will soon grow white as their snow, her eyes will fade to the pale cold blue of their skies, and with the winter frosts her hair will turn like fall leaves, golden yellow; and under the sun of Italy, Freia will tan to the burning, dark-hued, voluptuous Venus of the South. The two soils naturally breed the one cold statues, the other passionate life, but these two different phases are in themselves identical, Thor's hammer, and the various wonderful exploits of the Northern gods and goddesses, their dim, ill-defined notions of creation, of time and space, and of future worlds, are but natural growths from the nature of the North. Their gods, like their men, are all action, and to raise their actions above those of the human race, they naturally invest them with peculiar supernatural physical endowments, and a strange, mysterious mode of action. The powers of magic come to their aid; they are not absolutely omnipotent. Dwarfs forge them invincible arms in subterranean caverns; earth, air, fire, and water, conspire to assist them. The elements rage or are appeased at their command.

In the same way the gods of Greece and Rome are all repose. Their actions acquire a superiority over those of man not by supernatural agencies or extraordinary developments of physical power; their preëminence lies in the quiet assumption of power, in the immediate sequence of action on volition. Their divinity is esoteric, consisting in attributes innate and not assumed. Action with them is power; but in the North power must be superadded.

Thus we find all the various attributes embodied in the gods of the South, like[Pg 185]wise deified and modified in the North, Thus Loke is the Mercury of the ancients. He is the same sly rogue as Hermes, though he has not some of the better qualities of that god. He is essentially the god of deceit. His deceptions are more subtle and deep-laid than those of the Grecian adept. He combines with the Pagan element something of the old Christian Satanic element. Without the horn and hoof of the Christian devil, he has all his peculiar mental qualities, and uses them to the great prejudice and harm of the other gods. So, likewise, with many of the more human μυθοι. We find the same ideas to spring up in the agora of Athens, the wilds and snows of Norway, and the heathers and hills of Scotland. The fable of the Sirens finds an exact counterpart in the North. Like Ulysses, Duke Magnus and innumerable others escape with difficulty from the charms and enticements of sea-nymphs. Sometimes it is their wonderful song which the earth and the elements obey as they did Orpheus, that attracts them. Sometimes it is by more sensual blandishments, and sometimes by sweet and tender persuasion, suadæ medullâ. Mountain elves start from the ground, and from unseen caverns, and attempt to entice brave knights to their ruin; they dance round them beneath the trees, and endeavor to make them join in their dances. The natural fortitude of the stalwart champions is rarely able to resist the temptation, and they are always on the point of falling, when some unoffending barn-yard fowl sounds the signal for retreat, or some Christian word is uttered, or sign made, and the fair visions vanish, either naturally or in divers shapes with odors of brimstone and sulphur. The differences between the Grecian and the Northern conceptions are striking. In the Greek the forms are clear and vivid. The sirens are beautiful women, with angelic voices and vulture's talons. There are nothing but conceivable realities in their story. There is nothing strange or supernatural in their accessories. But in the Scandinavian elves the case is different. They vanish and reäppear at different times; they have no actual, permanent existence. The crow of a cock or the sign of the cross is enough to drive them back to their hiding-places. They shun daylight and fixed, customary spots. They generally surprise casual travelers, and upon them in lone, romantic spots, practice all their arts of enticement and seduction. There is always something of magic, of the supernatural, connected with them. The Greek sirens are not like common women; but once conceive of their physical existence, and you understand them thoroughly. Their laws of action are purely human, and we do not find them one half so unnatural as our neighbor that has a splay foot or a hunchback. The Northern witches, however, are formed like human females, but obey unknown and mysterious powers. The commonest words and associations of men are bans to them. Only so long do they have power as nothing human disturbs and overthrows their supernatural spells.

Again let us look for a moment at another division of Grecian fiction. The grim Cyclops who toils for Vulcan, working like mortal men, and forging divine things, it is true, like any Grecian blacksmith, has a counterpart of a somewhat different character in the North. The reality and vividness of the Greek changes as we approach the Pole. In deep caverns distorted, strange little dwarfs work by the aid of supernatural powers wondrous weapons, swords of incredible qualities, armor that defies mortal blades, bracelets of wondrous and cunning finish and singular properties—all here is miraculous, the workman, the process, and the work. The vividness with which Homer presents to us the one-eyed Polyphemus, with his tree-staff and his ponderous body, is exchanged by the Scandinavian for smallness, indistinctness of form and of power. The grand in the South is obtained by giving enlarged pictures of man as he is; in the North, by investing him with strange, magic, mysterious quali[Pg 186]ties. In mental as well as material nature, a general haziness of outline conveys the idea of greatness as strongly, though in another manner, as the sharp and perceptible outline of any thing really great.

This peculiarity we shall find running through the literature, the character, and the mind of the two nations. The North is misty, undefined, illimited; the Greek is clear as crystal, sharp and angular, on every side. Its conceptions are never vague, but are tangible, real, and human. Thus with the Greek, a vast ocean, like that they know, encircles the whole earth, and fixes its bounds and the limits which man shall not pass; the Northerns compassed it about with a vast serpent of immense size, which bounded infinity and space, time and eternity, thereby mirroring, in some degree, as it were, the ancient symbol for time and space without end, the snake biting his own tail, the circle with no one beginning nor end. The heaven of the Greeks is the summit of one of their own mountains, known to every peasant and inhabitant. Accessible only to the gods, there they live, as unconcernedly as though the earth were not. Thor, and Odin, and Freia live in the 'Shining Walhalla,' whither go the souls of brave and good warriors. Their way thither is over the heavenly bridge, the many-colored rainbow, thrown over between heaven and earth for the passage of the happy souls. And there in this dim, ghostly Walhalla they sit like the Grecian gods, and drink mead instead of ambrosia and nectar. They do not share in the earthly vices of the Southern gods. Thor never begat such a progeny as Jupiter.

Repose is also, as hinted at, a characteristic of Southern mythology, while action, assisted by supernatural agencies, is the feature of the Northern deities. Thus Jupiter sits majestic and silent upon Olympus and nods his head, and the whole earth shakes. He is human in his character, but of an ideal and superior human nature—man immensely magnified. The gods of Norway are also human, but they are, in themselves, mere men. What makes them gods is the magic power which is joined with them, a mere adjunct not forming a part of them. They toil and act like men—they are never still. Thor bears the hammer, the emblem of physical strength, energy, and activity. He can at a draught half drain the sea, and cause the tides to rise and ebb; he can lift the serpent that surrounds the world; he can wrestle with Death himself, and almost come off victorious. The giants are his mortal enemies, and against them he wages war and bears deadly hatred, as Jupiter against the Titans. None but the warrior, who has fought long and well, enjoys the long dreamt-of mead of Walhalla. A death on one's own bed is almost as ignominious as that of the coward. The straw-death (strödod) they will endeavor to avoid by opening their own veins and bleeding to death, and as the warm life-blood pours forth, they sing triumphant death-songs, and see the portals gradually open to receive them, and Braga the Scald, seated at the gate with his magic-sounding harp, his fingers running through the golden strings, and in such ecstasies they give up the ghost. The Greek dies in a more quiet, philosophical, and practical manner. He does not fear the shame of a warm and soft bed. Achilles, and Ajax, and Diomed, are not the only inmates of Elysium. Socrates, and Plato, and Homer, Apelles and Zeuxis, are all there too. The poet and the philosopher, the painter and the sculptor, rank as high through pen, pencil, and chisel, as the warrior by his blade and his bloody exploits. Art, in the North, finds no existence, and strikes no sympathizing chord in the bosoms of the sturdy Northmen. Art, to be perfect, requires a distinctness of conception, and an assimilation to human nature in its subjects, entirely at variance with the dim, mysterious character of the Scandinavian imagination. Painting is a thing utterly unknown, and sculpture, where found, deals in shapeless blocks and huge, massive, ill-proportioned forms, analogous to the primitive Egyptian art. In the Northern mythology and legend[Pg 187]ary history, minstrels play an important part. They are as indispensable as the Welsh bards, though not invested with the same authority as they. At the table of the gods, Braga strikes his wonderful harp and chants the triumphal hymns of dead warriors as they enter the Walhalla. Round the boards of the rougher Vikings, among the muscular, sun-browned champions, hardened to blood and strife, the minstrel is ever present, and as the huge cups pass around the long line, they sing the triumphs and praises of their hosts. They are like the old Grecian minstrels; like Phemius and Demodocus, they chant old memories of great sea-kings and champions, legends of magic elves and dwarfs, and wondrous and often touchingly beautiful stories of love and passion. The vague impressions of music seem to harmonize marvelously with the Northern nature. It is wild and weird in its character, for much of it, with the innumerable ballads of those days, have reached us from father to son, and vividly recall the times whence they date, and the men whose characters they mirror. There is often a magic element connected with their music. The music of the elves is like that of the sirens and of Orpheus, often irresistible. Through many of their ballads runs the same legendary undertone. A maiden's song moves the king's heart, and one by one he offers in vain every gift in his power, to the very half of his kingdom, and ends by placing a crown of gold upon her head, and seating her beside him on his throne as his lawful queen. The story of the two sisters, one ugly and one beautiful, reappears in the North in various forms. The younger and more lovely of the two is murdered, and the elder is to wed her bride-groom. Pilgrims who meet with the body, make a lyre from the bones, and string it with the golden hair of the maiden, and as they play at the bridal, each string tells its tale of horror in turn, while the unhappy sister sinks under these inanimate accusations.

In the Greek myths we find none of these mysterious elements. The supernatural creations we meet with are innumerable, and no less strange in themselves. But there is nothing in Polyphemus, in Circe, in the Sirens, beyond their physical natures, which can make us look beyond ourselves to understand and fully sympathize with them. Once fully grasp their superhuman endowments, and you feel they act like men on a large scale. Not so with the Northern supernatural beings. In themselves they approach nearer to men, and are but little above them in endowments and character, but it is their mode of action which makes them superior to us; their divinity and power lie not in themselves, but in the agents, visible and mysterious, that they employ. They are not like Jupiter, omnipotent. They are brought to a stand quite as often as more humble mortals. Thor, without his hammer, is no longer Thor himself. His trusty Mjölner is more to him than the thunderbolt of Zeus to the Grecian father of the gods. The eagle and thunderbolt of Jove, the ægis of Minerva, the girdle of Venus and Mercury's wands, are mere emblems of what powers their own natures give them. With the Northern deities their whole strength lies in the possession of these. Without them they are powerless, and in spite of all their might, they are often obliged to call on one another for assistance, and sometimes even stand in need of mortal aid. We may, perhaps, consider the Grecian gods as mere personifications and idealities, but those of the North are essentially real. They are the creations of a powerful but vague imagination, forms which resemble a Norwegian mountain, distinct in itself by its glittering snows and icy rocks, but which shrouds its head in a perpetual mist, except when some adverse wind with its indiscreet blowing, displays it in all its nakedness, and plain though grand reality.

Analogous to the story of Circe and Ulysses is a myth which forms the foundation of some of the most beautiful and pathetic ballads of Sweden, Den[Pg 188]mark and Norway. The mountain king bears to his cavern in the hill-side a fair maiden, and with him

'For eight long years, I ween, she lived in the mountain there,
And sons full seven she bore him, and eke a daughter fair.'

And here the resemblance ceases, and the Northern legend assumes a more beautiful tone. The maiden longs for her mother and her old home, and goes from the mountain king with the promise not to mention her seven sons. She tells her tale, however, and the elf-king straightway appears, and strikes her till the life-blood flows. She then says:

'Farewell, dear father, and farewell, dear mother, too,
Farewell, my sister dear, and dear brother, farewell to you.
Farewell, thou lofty heaven, and the fresh, green earth, farewell!
Now wend I to the mountain where the mountain king doth dwell.'

And so they ride to the mountain, through the long, wild, black wood, the mother weeping bitter tears, while the elf-king smiles. Her little daughter reaches her a golden chair:

'Oh! rest thee, my poor mother, so sad and woe-begone.'

She takes the foaming mead in her hand,

'And scarce from out the mead-glass bright the first draught does she take,
(The hour goes heavy by,)
Her eyes were sudden closed, and her weary heart it brake,
(Ah! well sorrow's burden know I.)'

That the Greeks had similar ballads and legends can not be doubted, but to revive them from their present destruction is a task beyond the power of science and antiquarianism. Hardly more than a quarter of a century has elapsed since the first important steps were taken in the North of Europe to preserve these ballads which had thus been orally handed down from ages that vanish in the darkness of the past, and which in a few years more, with the gradual disappearance of primitive simplicity in Sweden and Norway, might have been, for the greater part, lost to us forever. Who knows but that in some remote corner of Greece, in spite of the revolutions and shocks which have convulsed it, there may still lurk an occasional shadow at least of some good old popular song?

The refrains which accompany the Northern ballads, and which are, in fact, found among all nations whose ballad poetry has been preserved, merit some attention. Sometimes melancholy and sad, sometimes gay and joyous, they impart character wonderfully to the piece. There is something peculiarly mournful in the recurring of these sad, touching thoughts and words, and as the interest of the ballad deepens, their touching simplicity grasps more deeply into the soul, and affects us in a manner which nothing else could. When they are joyous—a rarer form, however—they impart to us also their own buoyancy and gayety. Sometimes they convey the moral of the piece, some simple yet profound reflection, which marks by itself the feeling that pervades the whole ballad; at other times they are merely descriptive of nature, and borrow their enlivening or heart-rending character from the assimilation or contrast they present with the groundwork of the poetry. The origin of this kind of refrain is evidently due to the manner in which the ballads were composed. Mainly extemporized, both words and music, by wandering scalds or minstrels, the refrain was a pause to enable the singer to compose the next line. The utter disregard of rhyme, alliterations the most slight and imperceptible, and words of no similarity of sound almost always taking their place, rendered this a very easy task. A thorough knowledge and mastery of legendary lore, and a little power and concentration of thought and imagery, were the only qualities requisite for a ballad-monger. Some of them bear the marks of superior minds, both by their wonderful vividness of description and by the tone of deep, genuine[Pg 189] feeling which pervades them throughout.

There is a wonderful affinity between the Scotch and the Norwegians and Swedes, especially in their traditionary literature, which marks a common origin and common customs at some remote period. We find among the genuine Scotch ballads many that are almost literal versions of the same Scandinavian legends no less indigenous in their own land. A large number of the most beautiful Scotch ballads plainly point to an extraneous Northern origin, and their exact counterparts in form, ideas, and words, we find circulating as popular songs among the Swedish, Danish, and Norwegian peasantry. These may often be traced back centuries, at the end of which they seem still to be as old and as thoroughly implanted in their native soil as they now seem. They have been sung from mouth to mouth, with the same wild old melodies and the same quaint language, as they were sung centuries ago among the scenes they so faithfully depict.

The characteristics we have so briefly alluded to as marking the two classes of nations, namely, mysterious grandeur among the Northmen, and among the Greeks ideality, grandness, and vividness of conception, might by skillful hands be traced in more modern times under the influence of an ever-changing and growing civilization. I will only allude, in passing, to a few prominent points.

The literature of Greece, as we know it, had already reached its hight, two thousand years before our time. It was already gray with years before the North had begun its infancy. Homer is the boundary which is insurmountably opposed to our further retrospection, and Homer is already the beginning of perfection in Greek letters. Of earlier periods we can but conjecture that there must have been such, bearing a character analogous to the relics of those nations whose fabulous history is better known to us. Northern literature can hardly be said to have had an existence till within the last hundred years. Before that time we must look for all phases of progress and germs of progress in the physical and animal character of the nation, their social and political features and relations. The vividness and ideality of the ancients find their natural change in the more purely impassioned style of more modern Southern poetry. Their creations have naturally lost with the fall of paganism, the supernatural endowments they had, and retaining in some their ideality, they have hightened and fired the human nature they depict by the addition of wilder and more flaming passions, of love that consumes, and ambition, revenge, and hatred that destroy. Thus we again obtain consistent characters governed by human laws, but raised above the ordinary mass of men by different qualities from those which ennobled ideal creations among the ancients. Repose still constitutes greatness in some instances; but the inner man is made all fire, and seething metal, ever-burning and quenchless. Elevation and subtlety of ideas naturally follow these causes, they are another natural growth of the simple ideality of conception.

The Northern character at the present day has very different qualities. Though renowned for philosophical and metaphysical prose, yet their poetry they require to deal with realities and not with ideas; it must be clear as a fountain, and any opaqueness is an inexcusable flaw. They are yet in the infancy of literature, and the imagination is still more sensuous than acute and subtle. However much they court abstractions in prose, in verse they love only the actual, the real, the tangible. Nature, and not metaphysics, are the subjects of their poetry, and they still preserve a freshness and simplicity reminding of more ancient and ruder days, delightful amidst the hair-splitting of most modern poetry. Their infancy is like the infancy of all national literatures, peculiarly modified by the advanced state of civilization in which their birth was thrown. At first sight[Pg 190] there seems something unnatural and unaccountable in this apparent contradiction in the character of the nation, manifested respectively in their prose and their poetry. But on farther examination all becomes clear as a spring day. Their prose was, as their whole literature might and should have been, contemporary with their civilization through its various phases. Metaphysics is the last refinement, or rather, corruption, which national literature undergoes. Their prose had naturally arrived at this stage when the true poetic feeling woke for the first time. And in spite of the rational tendencies of the age, it assumed that character of warm, bodily imagination which marks all early literatures. The tendency to the mysterious and the superhuman has mostly vanished, and more vivid conceptions of every thing have, under their Christian development, taken the place of dim magic and weird creations. Northern poets still delight in dealing with those wonderful poetical inventions of their own ancient mythology, and revel among the elves and dwarfs that surround the bosoms of mountains and woods. Lif, with her golden hair, Gerda, with cheeks like auroras, the cunning Loke, with his mixture of guile, wickedness and deceit, Thor's mighty Mjölner, and the mead-horns of Walhalla—from among these wonderful beings, they have culled with a careless hand, and every sprig and flower is radiant with poetic beauty. The taste for old legends and traditions has revived within a few years, and scholars and antiquarians are now laying open unknown mines of treasure.


Among my friends at Rome, during a few weeks that I spent there, was one old resident of the 'Eternal City' whom I had often begged to give me some authentic narrative of Catholic experience. He was naturally reserved, jealously truthful, a 'know-nothing' upon religious controversy, not at all the man to invent an exciting story, not fond of legends, Romish or Genevan, not a violent partisan of republicanism in church or state, and not familiar enough with American thought to suspect the use that might be made in the United States of such an incident as I am now to repeat. In fact, as I compare him with other sources of intelligence open to travelers, sure as I am that no one could question his belief of whatever he told, every weight that character, intelligence, years, experience, could confer, rests upon the only monkish secret which he professed to know. One night he invited me to a subterranean restaurant, famous for its excellent creature-comforts, and there over some royal English beer, without any graces of style or attempts to exaggerate the incidents, he unfolded what I believe to be a true record of unblessed love.

General readers are familiar with the fact that many a nun immures herself for life under a sort of moral compulsion, because her high-born family has become too indigent to maintain its stately style of living, because the lady herself is in danger of contracting some degrading alliance, declines peremptorily such connection as her relations approve, or has committed some imprudence that clouds over her future prospects. The secret influences which entangle men in the Catholic orders correspond to this. It would be arrant bigotry to doubt that some offer up an unstained heart, in aspirations for usefulness or sighs for holiness; but many times a youth is led blindfold to the altar by ambitious relatives, like Talleyrand, and discovers too late his perfect unfitness for the vow he has assumed. And these last are they whose lives become a scandal to their[Pg 191] profession, whose levity shocks so many Protestant observers, whose consciences have no true peace, who die sometimes in open unbelief and, living, are the worst enemies of the cause they advocate.

As my story goes, at nearly the same time that a gallant young man of high family disappeared from the gay circles of Rome, a lovely girl of distinguished parentage had suffered her blonde tresses to be shorn, her graceful limbs draped in forlorn russet, her merry meetings with girlish spirits like herself exchanged for the tears of the confessional, the lengthened prayers of the cloister, the frequent fastings and sometimes scourgings of monastic life. The cause of this contemporaneous disappearance was known only to the most intimate friends of two celebrated but no longer wealthy families, who deemed the sacrifice necessary, and so recked not of the wounds it might make, the perjuries it might tempt, the life-struggle of duty with feeling it might cause.

Time passed on. Forgotten by society, it was supposed these victims of artificial life had forgotten the circles they were wont to charm, forgotten almost themselves in a system most ingeniously arranged to blot out one's individuality and to make its subject a perfectly ordered part of a grand machine. But, unsuspected by their friends, unknown to their superiors, these two pledged hearts had met. Love will break through even convent-walls, will speak amidst monastic silence, will rise unbidden under ascetic discipline. No one can tell, very few can imagine how they agreed upon their trysting hour. Through a neglected drain, from some underground apartment, where she had been imprisoned for negligence, the slender form of the delicate maiden worked its way into the free air where her lover awaited her in the eagerness of a stolen pleasure; and the hours supposed to be given to prayer or repose flew fast in the worship of the 'winged god.' If I recollect rightly, there were deeply-shaded groves not far from their place of meeting, in which they felt secure from observation during the night season.

But Love has always been blind to its own peril: a prudent lover would be indeed a black swan; if such there have been, these were not. And one night, when the beautiful nun would return through the friendly passage in season, that her absence might not be detected when the sisters were summoned to their matin service, the rain, whose torrents she had not noticed while her lover's arm sheltered her, had filled up the only pathway to her cell, and not even by the hazard of life could she recover her room once more. A few hours more, and her absence would inevitably come to light, would be fearfully punished, if not by a death such as Scott portrays in one of his poetical legends, by a disgrace far worse than physical suffering, from which nothing but the grave could give her relief. The alternative, flight, where no provision had been made, with no possible help from any friend, with the likelihood of treachery where they might least expect it, seemed impossible.

In despair rather than hope, the forlorn lady recollected that her uncle, who had some spiritual supervision over the Roman convents, though he was sure to be more outraged by her misstep than any one else, had (besides the motive of shielding a family name from disgrace) perhaps some remaining affection for his favorite niece. At any rate, if she were to die, she thought it would be a satisfaction to die humanely, by the speedy stroke of offended honor than by such cruel penances as would slowly wear life away. And, what might she not hope, if there were still one humane drop in that aged bosom, one indulgent memory of youthful passion beneath that austere cowl, one fond thought of a childhood which seemed to herself a dream of paradise, when his hand blessed her curling head, and his lips gave a parting kiss, returned so heartily by herself.

There was not a moment to lose[Pg 192]—they hardly knew how time had sped, but they had never found his wings slow when they were together. So, hand in hand they hastened to the presence which was to be either deliverance or condemnation to them both; and when at last they reached the palace, and after some delay were admitted to kneel before his eminence, no words can paint the horror with which he exchanged his dreams of the papal chair for a sight of the apostate priest and self-doomed nun confessing in one breath that they had 'loved not wisely, but too well'—that God once brought together those whom cruel relatives tore asunder—that he was their only escape from double ruin, and infamy worse than death.

The moments seemed hours while he who had approved the punishment of other celibates for no greater sins, sought how he might ward off a blow that struck so near his own bosom—that was to crush one the grace of whose childhood had not been more marked than her affection for himself—than the earnestness of the tone with which she was wont to declare herself 'his little daughter.' He had not the courage to hazard his position by espousing her cause or undertaking her escape. He felt that she had been more sinned against than sinning, in having been forced into a vow of perpetual virginity when she had already made another vow which her loving nature had rejoiced to keep.

And yet, the preservation of his dignity was of infinite moment to his peace—nor could he help seeing that a flood of disgrace would sweep over the Church were such breaches widened by the public protection of the offenders, and, of course, the enemies of monastic institutions would seize upon the opening for fiercer assaults.

Suddenly he dismissed the erring brother in too much trouble to bestow the admonition which the other was in too great anxiety to heed—threw over the trembling girl the cloak and hat of a common citizen—summoned his household servants together as quickly as possible, and hastened in the twilight of early dawn to the sleeping convent with as large an attendance as such hot haste would permit.

For some time no admittance could be obtained; and the rain seemed to pour down in sheets, as if all the windows of heaven were open. But his orders were peremptory, his authority was ample, his excuse ingenuity itself: 'He had just heard that a man was secreted within those consecrated walls; he was determined to see for himself, if he had to tear one stone from another; under his supervision no such infamy should be so much as suspected.' And so, making a virtue of necessity, the panic-struck lady abbess yielded her dignity, and the posse of pretended inspectors stood within the drowsy walls before one rose-tint in the East threatened their secret with exposure.

So responsible an official could not be satisfied with seeing the nuns together, or witnessing their earliest chapel-service; he must enter every room, survey every cranny, and leave no possibility of deception, no corner for concealment. And posting some of his servants—whose excessive watchfulness might prove a little inconvenient—at the two principal entrances, with his remaining attendants he proceeded orderly from room to room, the superior refusing, as was expected, to sanction by her presence such an invasion of the sacred privacy of her institution. When they reached the cell adjoining that where our tale properly ends, the disguised nun was far enough in the rear of the feebly-lighted party, and they too busy in the pretended search, for her disappearance to be noticed—her uncle had made her see that this was the only chance—so, flinging the coat and hat through an open window into the yard, she glided with ghost-like tread into her own apartment, and when the drowsy servitors opened her door, she was seen upon her knees before the crucifix, praying more fervently than ever the jubilant prayer of a newly-rescued soul.

The trouble threatened to lead to some farther difficulties. For these ladies were[Pg 193] of the Roman aristocracy, and their honor had been impeached, their sanctuary invaded, their solemn asseverations had been disregarded, their protector had become their accuser. It might have gone hard with the father who had planned this ingenious device to save his name from disgrace and shield his niece from suffering. But, just before the party turned from the convent-gate, a keen eye detected the fallen mantle; and the trophy was exhibited to the agitated superior, in proof that some of the forbidden sex had been lurking around, and had stolen away in terror from so formidable a search; she was warned to new vigilance, and offered every assistance for the future which the papal guards could bestow.

And so ends all that my informant knew of the love-lost girl. Her accomplice in guilt, who did not desert her till he saw there was hope in her uncle's face, was hurried away as a missionary to South-America; and, as the waves of the sea rolled between him and his only object of affection, he must have 'rejoiced with trembling' that the crimson waves of death had not mingled her and him in a common doom. He wanted the independence to detect the injustice of a system which made a pure attachment guilt, and its discovery condemnation; so he raised no protesting voice against it. Truly, the day of strange stories in Italy is not yet over.


Governor Stuyvesant was among the earliest to encourage the emigration of the Huguenots to New-York, and whose descendants for generations have ranked with our best and most honorable citizens. On the twenty-fourth of January, 1664, N. Van Beck, a merchant in New-Amsterdam, received letters from Rochelle, stating the wish of some French Protestants to settle in New-Netherland, as their religious rights had been invaded and their churches burned. The Governor and Council resolved to receive them kindly, and grant them lands gratuitously. In a letter of M. de Denonville to the French government, dated sixteenth November, 1686, he reports that fifty or sixty 'men, Huguenots,' arrived at New-Amsterdam, 'who are establishing themselves at Manat, (New-Amsterdam,) and its environs. I know that some have arrived at Boston, from France.' Although the waves of the Atlantic divided the two countries, the French King does not seem to have forgiven his banished subjects in America. In his instructions to Count De Frontenac, respecting the expedition from Canada against New-York, and dated seventh June, 1689, he directs him to 'send to France the French refugees, whom he will find there, particularly those of the pretended Reformed Religion,' or Huguenots. His royal but remorseless spirit was not gratified, however, as the French did not venture to attack New-York, and instead of their Protestant brethren being sent back to France, a few years afterward they erected a church for their own religious services. This was Du Saint-Esprit, and built on Pine street, directly opposite to the present Custom-House, by the Huguenots and Walloon settlers, the last of whom were a part of the French Protestants, although they emigrated to America from the river 'Wael.' An earlier French chapel had been erected on Marketfield street, then called Petticoat Lane, near the Battery. It was an humble edifice, but hither, every Lord's day, the Huguenots from the city, Stat[Pg 194]en Island, the Wallabagh, and New-Rochelle, by wagons, in which they lodged, were wont to assemble to worship God, without the fear of royal, persecuting edicts, or armed bands. L'Eglise Saint-Esprit was founded in the year 1704, with a cemetery adjoining. It was a plain, neat, stone building, and nearly square—its bell the gift of Sir Henry Ashurst, of London. On its tablet in front was inscribed: ÆDES SACRA GALLOR PROT. REFORM. FONDA. 1704. PENITUS REPAR. 1741. In our day its sacred walls have been taken down, the dead removed, and the venerable spot, like many others in our busy city, is now devoted to Mammon. The successors of Saint-Esprit long since united with the Episcopalians, and erected the beautiful marble church in Leonard street, where the doctrines of the ever-blessed Reformation continue to be declared in the same language in which they were so eloquently preached two centuries ago, by Claude, Laurin, and other Reformed French Ministers.

The Rev. James Laboire was the first pastor of the Saint-Esprit, which soon numbered a flourishing congregation. Some of its members would walk from New-Rochelle, on Saturday night, to worship God in this place, and thus spending the holy day, would return home again in the evening, joyfully singing Marot's old French hymns to cheer them by the way. The Staten-Island Huguenots would make the same pious journey in their light skiffs and boats. For some years Mr. Laboire, the pastor, toward his support was 'allowed a yearly sallary of twenty pounds per ann. out of ye Revenue of this Province.' The religious services were here performed in the primitive manner of the French Calvinistic churches; but after the sovereignty of the English was established over the Dutch, the forms of their church worship were gradually introduced, until at length the Huguenot congregation united with the Protestant Episcopal, in this diocese.

In the Documentary History of New-York, vol iii. p. 427, may be found an old curious article, entitled, 'A Full and Just Discovery of the weak and slender foundation of a most Pernicious Slander, raised against the French Protestant Refugees, inhabiting the Province of New-York, generally, but more particularly affecting Captain Benjamin Fanuel, a person of considerable note amongst them. Printed and published by license of his Excellency Edward Viscount Cornbury, Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of the said Province, in favor of Justice.'

It appears that one Morris Newinhuysen, a mate of a vessel, in 1706, was taken by the French, and a prisoner of war, at New-York, reported that the 'French Protestants' here corresponded with 'the inhabitants of France, tending to the taking and destruction of this city, by Her Majesty's declared enemies.' The New-York Huguenots considered this accusation a 'crime of so high a nature in itself,' and so 'altogether false and untrue,' as to petition Governor Burnet to cause 'the said Morris Newinhuysen, and all others who may appear concerned, to be strictly examined upon the same report, and if found out, be punished according to the nature of the crime.' This petition is dated 'February 10, 1707/8,' and signed by 'Stephen D'Lancey, Elias Nezereau, Abraham Jouneau, Thomas Bayeux, Elias Neau, Paul Deoilet, Augustus Jay, Jean Cazale, Benjamin Fanuel.' These must have been leading Huguenots at the time. To another petition of a similar character, we find the names of Daniel Cromelin, John Auboyneau, Francis Vincent, Alexander Allaire. His Excellency the Governor, ordered the report to be considered, which was done, when his Council reported that there was not 'any ground to suspect Captain Faneuil of holding a correspondence with France.' This was cheering news to the 'French Refugees' in the Province of New-York, as such a slanderous report, to use their own language on the occasion, was 'of pernicious consequence to all the French refugees in general, and disturbs their peace and quiet, and ob[Pg 195]structs that affection and familiarity which they had formerly enjoyed with the other inhabitants of this Province, to their just grief and resentment.'

The Rev. Louis Rou was also a pastor of the 'Reformed Protestant French Church in New-York.' As early as the year 1713, among other names in its official records, are found John Barberie, elder, Louis Carré, ancien, Jean Lafont, ancien, André Fuyneau, ancien.' During the year 1724, there was great excitement in the French congregation, caused by a party question. Stephen De Lancey, a wealthy merchant, and patron of the church, with others became dissatisfied with the pastor. He was dismissed for want of zeal, and for innovations which they contended he had introduced into their church discipline; but the minister, with his friends, appealed from this decision to Governor Burnet and his Council, when they sustained him. Indignant memorials were published by both parties, and things went so far, that when De Lancey was elected to the Colonial Assembly, the Governor refused to administer his oath of office, alleging that he was not a subject of the British crown. De Lancey, the Huguenot, contended that he had left France before the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, and had received denization in England, under the great seal of James II. He was right, and the Assembly sustained his argument and claims against his Excellency the 'Captain-General and Governor-in-Chief of the Provinces of New-York, New-Jersies, and Territories thereon depending in America.'

For the curious in old families, among the official friends of the French minister, we find James Gou, John Hastier, Elias Pelletreau, Jr., Jean Va Chan, Andrew Foucault, Jacques Bobin, N. Cazalet, Samuel Bourdet, David Le Febrer, Francois Bourdet, Peter Morgat. They testify to Mr. Rou's 'exemplary piety and instruction for upwards of fourteen years,' which 'have rendered him exceedingly estimable to all who knows him, which can't but be acknowledged even by those who are now the occasion of this trouble.' We find a more general list of French families, his friends also, and dated thirty-first December, 1724, and they speak well of him, 'with edification, always leading an exemplary life:' James Bergerron, Francis Bosset, Daniel Girand, Daniel Gailliard, Elias Chardavoine, Paul Pelletreau, James Many, Gamaliel Guyele, Anthony Pintard, Jeremie La Touche, Samuel Bourdet, Jean Bachan, Elie Mainburt, Andrew Richard, James Belleveau, Peter Quintard, John Bosset, James Bobin, Daniel Bossuet, Charles Jardin, Amand Perot, William Huertin, John Vezier, Peter Dennys Doctr, John Many, Peter Tillou, Peter Ebrard, Henry Collier, John David, Noe Cazalet, Gabriel Le Boyteix, Jr., Elias Groséllier, Andrew Girand, Francis Baumier, James Des Brosses, James Renaudet, Lawrence Cornisleau, Daniel Mesnard, John Ganeau, Peter Monget, John Hastier, David Le Telier, Jean Le Chevalier, Philip Gilliot, Abraham Bertrand, Abraham Butler, Daniel Cromelin, John Pintard, Abraham Pontereau, Peter Burton, Stephen Bourdet, Paul Pinaud, Peter Fauconnier. As the same old chronicle says: 'Here followeth the names of the widow women, and others, members of the same church:' Rachel Ebrard, Elizabeth Heurtin, Marie Anne Ablin, Magdalene Fauconnier, Anne Bachan, Mary Perot, Susanne Magle Bosset, Mary Sergeran, Esther Bouniot, Marquise Boyteul, Martha Brown, Renée Mary Rou, Judith Morget, Martha Pentereau, Mary Bargeau, Susanne Boutecon, Susanne Ford, Mary Oaks, Mary Ellison, Martha Perot, Esther Masse, Elizabeth Tillou.

At this period, a Rey. Mr. Moulinars was the assistant minister of Mr. Rou, and united with the party who opposed him, and they also have left records of their views, in which they claim to have paid Mr. Rou in full, and that then the Consistory could dismiss him when they saw fit. 'We are not indebted unto Mr. Rou one farthing for all the time he hath served us,' is their language, and to their official act are the signatures of[Pg 196] 'I. I. Moulinars, ministre, John Barheweeld, Louis Carréansien, Abraham Gouneau, ans., Fran. Cazalz, ans., René Het, ans., January twenty-eighth, 1724.' Still the Council decided in favor of Mr. Rou, and were 'of opinion that the said congregation be admonished that every person in it do all in his power to preserve peace and unanimity in their congregation.' That body also advised 'that the ministers of the French congregation who shall officiate next Sunday be ordered to read publicly the said opinion and admonition, immediately after divine service in the forenoon.'

All these efforts did not produce harmony in the French congregation. Moulinars evidently had a restless spirit, and was much opposed to the Church of England, at that time the established religion of the New-York Colony, and respected by many of the Huguenots. Through his efforts, a 'meeting-house' was erected for the French refugees at New-Rochelle, and its members numbered one hundred persons. One old document (May twelfth, 1725) records 'that the said Mr. Moulinars has declared (as can be proved) that he finds our Church (Episcopal) and that of Rome as like one another as two fishes can be ... and one of the chiefest reasons of this violence against Mr. Rou has no other ground than his constant affection to the Church, and the public approbation he has at all times given to its ceremonies and doctrines.' The churchmen also complained that Moulinars caused 'great prejudice in general to the Church of England, and in particular to that of New-Rochelle, where he would come quarterly from New-York, and plead among the people.' New-Rochelle was then a parish, and its rector, of course, considered the French preacher a dissenter. From the parochial account of the former, the town embraced two Quaker families, three Dutch ones, four Lutherans, and several of the French; and the Huguenots settling among them in the year 1726, gathered a congregation of 'about one hundred persons.'

The Rev. Messrs. Daille and Labord appear early to have served the French Protestant Church in New-York; but of the latter we have learned nothing. The former had been pastor awhile to the French Protestants in Boston. About the year 1690, the Dutch Church Consistory employed Mr. Daille to preach to the French in their own language, at New-York, and also to conduct the religious services of the pulpit during a part of the Lord's day.

In 1763, Jean Carll was the pastor of Du Saint-Esprit, for we discover his name, together with Peter Vallade and James Desbrosses, the present elders, Daniel Bounet and Charles Jardine, the present deacons of the French Protestant Church in the city of New-York, to a petition for a charter. Their church property, they state, was purchased agreeable to an act of the Legislature in 1703; 'a decent edifice for the public worship of Almighty God, according to the usage of the French Protestant Churches,' erected; 'and the residue they devoted to the use of the cemetery or church-yard for the interment of their dead.' 'Ever since, they have maintained a succession of ministers there, who have dispensed the ordinances of divine worship in the French tongue.' Besides this property, they received the rents of a house and parcel of ground in the township of Breucklin, on Nassau Island, near the ferry, and the French Church now asked from the legislative authorities a proper charter. With honest pride they boast, in their petition, of the most inviolable fidelity 'to all those indulgent states and powers who protected them from the merciless rage of their Popish persecutors. As your petitioners in particular are the descendants of a people who suffered the greatest hardships and flew from their native country to preserve the purity of the Christian faith and worship.' Eloquent and truthful words. The Huguenots were a great blessing to every land where they settled. The name of their body politic was 'the Ministers, Elders, and Deacons of the Protestant French Church of the City of New-York.'[Pg 197]

During the Revolutionary War, New-York became literally a city of prisons. The pews of the North Dutch Church in William street were used for fuel, and eight hundred American prisoners were incarcerated within its old walls, without fuel or bedding, and here many died from cold and starvation. The 'Brick Meeting,' in Beekman street, was also used at first for a prison, and afterward changed into an hospital. The Rose-street Friends' Meeting-house and the Wall-street Presbyterian church became hospitals also, and Du Saint-Esprit was made a dépôt for military stores. The Middle Dutch, the present Post-Office, stripped of its sacred furniture, was the abode of three thousand American prisoners. 'Here,' says John Pintard, himself a most respectable member of the Protestant French Church near by, and an eye-witness of the disgusting sight, 'the prisoners taken on Long Island and at Fort Washington—sick, wounded, and well—were all indiscriminately huddled together by hundreds and thousands, large numbers of whom died by disease, and many were undoubtedly poisoned by their inhuman attendants, for the sake of their watches or silver buckles.' The suffering inmates were afterward transferred to other places of confinement, and the venerable building turned into a riding-school for the British dragoons. Its floor was taken up, the ground covered with tan-bark, and the window-sashes removed for this sacrilegious purpose. The French Huguenot church remained in its original form one hundred and thirty years, until 1834, when it was taken down, the grounds sold, and its dead disinterred and removed to other resting-places. In their native lands, the ashes of the Huguenots would sometimes be dug up, burned, and scattered by persecuting hands to the winds of the heavens; but in ours—Protestant and more favored—their sainted dust, wherever buried, is watched and preserved with pious care and affectionate fidelity. It would be a pleasant but an impossible duty to trace the histories of thousands of our most excellent New-Yorkers, whose pious ancestors worshiped God in the old sanctuary of Du Saint-Esprit, and whose ashes reposed, in Christian hope, alongside of its humble and venerable walls. But records are scarcely to be found. Still we may love their characters and strive to imitate their noble and generous virtues. Hallowed be those precious memories!

The remains of many Huguenots repose among the innumerable dead of old Trinity church-yard, that vast home of the departed; and where can be found their memorials of honor, patriotism, and exalted piety. Here lie the ashes of the Rev. Elias Neau, near its northern porch. He was a man of more than ordinary eminence; his life useful, beneficial, and religious. Mr. Neau was the paternal ancestor of Mrs. Commodore Oliver H. Perry, of Rhode-Island.

Previous to his escape from France, he suffered confinement for several years in the prisons and galleys, and while in his dungeons, learned by heart the liturgy, and became attached to the English Church service. When the Rev. Mr. Vesey was rector of Trinity, Mr. Neau was appointed catechist of that church. For a number of years, he faithfully discharged the duties of this important appointment among the Indians and the slaves, of whom some fifteen hundred were catechumens in the city of New-York. He could only collect them together on Sunday nights, after the last public services; and when properly prepared, would present them to Mr. Vesey, for baptism. Mr. Neau may be said to have founded the Free School of Trinity, an institution so useful and well known among the noble charities of New-York. Its former tablet is still preserved among the mementoes of the olden time. This excellent Huguenot closed his useful life in 1722, resting from his earthly labors alongside of God's holy temple, where he had so long worshiped and' served him.

The Rev. Elias Neau, his wife Susannah, and daughter Judith, left France, for America, with the Huguenots, about[Pg 198] 1685. Judith married a Rabineau in New-York, and their only child, Marie, married Daniel Ayrault; their issue was six sons and five daughters; and the second son, Daniel, married Susannah Eargrass, whose children were Daniel and Mary Ayrault. Mary married Benjamin Mason, and their children were two sons and two daughters. The eldest son, Benjamin Mason, M.D., was educated in England, marrying Margaret Champlin, of Newport, R. I., and their issue was three sons and one daughter. This daughter, Elizabeth Champlin Mason, became the wife of the patriotic and brave Captain Oliver Hazard Perry, of the United States Navy. From this last union were four sons and one daughter, Elizabeth Mason Perry. This daughter married the Rev. Francis Vinton; and their children, seven sons and three daughters, make the eighth generation from their venerable, pious Huguenot ancestor; Mr. Vinton himself serving in holy things at the same sacred altar of old Trinity, where the Rev. Elias Neau worshiped, and after a lapse of one hundred and fifty years. How enduring is sacred truth! It will abide forever.

Johannes Delamontagnie was another Huguenot refugee, who reached New-Amsterdam in 1773. Governor Kieft appointed him a member of his council, then the second office in the colonial government. He purchased a farm of two hundred acres at Harlaem, for seven hundred and twenty dollars, naming it' Vriedendel', (Valley of Peace.) The land was situated East of the Eighth Avenue, between Ninety-third street and the Harlem river. His grandson, named Vincent, died in May, 1773, at the very advanced age of one hundred and sixteen years. Numerous descendants are still among us from this early French Protestant emigrant, although some abbreviations have been made in the name.


While sharing the Provost-Marshal's office, in Portsmouth, Virginia, I was struck with the almost utter absence of cultivation of the understanding of the people living there or in the surrounding country, who entered to obtain passes, or for other purposes. Scarce one of them at first appreciated the nature of an oath, which they all shrank from taking, or objected to, when proposed as a condition of obtaining either the passes or the protection they wished. They were not merely illiterate and untaught, but showed also an extremely low grade of reasoning power. There was, indeed, in most cases, but little development even of those lower grades of intellectual ability which are so frequently seen in simply 'illiterate' persons. They hung back from committing themselves, in any way, as friendly to us, though they evidently did not feel that hatred or ill-feeling characteristic of the bolder secessionist. I afterward saw many more of these people, in Norfolk, at our office. With our continued occupancy of the city, and in the absence of any aggressive action by our Government, they presented themselves more frequently. Among them there was occasionally one who avowed himself, without reservation, for the Union. These people are, I am confident, the only ones in the rebellious States who are other than secessionists. Love of the Union—that which the reader identifies with patriotism and nationality—they had not, because this can nowhere be found in the rebellious States, except in isolated instances. That they remained silent and subdued under the progress of the acts of the secessionists, and never raised hand or voice in contradiction to them, proves in this class an absence of that force of character, or of that moral courage or 'energy' which is the distinguishing attribute of our Northern people, even the poorest, and this was[Pg 199] also evinced when we first occupied the town. It was not peacefulness of disposition which I remarked, but the lack first, of decision of character, and next, of decision of understanding respecting the questions at issue. In conversation they could express only very simple notions, nor could I promptly elicit more from them. Even their feelings lacked the qualities of force and intensity. Yet this class is next to the ruling and leading part of the population, which is composed of planters, cotton, tobacco, and produce factors' families, professional men, and others, who court patronage, including shopkeepers, small manufacturers, and money-lenders, and who support in political affairs their own clientéle of supporters. The latter people constitute the determinedly rebellious. It is the first class only, that we can regard as the sole support to Unionism which there is in the rebellious States; but in them we shall find no moral force or power even when the reign of the leading class shall have ceased. These facts, I am aware, are in striking contrast to the usual estimation of the courage and daring of the people of the South. But the usual estimation is true only of the people who have a concert of interest in slavery, and who, whatever their petty disagreements may be, concur in their politics. Nowhere, therefore, is democracy less actual than in the rebellious States; a ruling and a subservient class exists precisely as in England or Austria. To increase the latter, comprising the people I first described, is by no means to increase the power and extend the domination of the other, but the contrary; and undoubtedly the diminution of their number by the sacrifice of their lives in the rebellion, is considered by the chief managers as desirable, in view of the success of their scheme of polity and government.

Accordingly, in enforcing their plan of formally identifying the various States with secession—the form being the ordinance of secession—the suffrages and sense of this ruled class were ruthlessly unheeded, and denied validity.

Hence we say that several of the rebel States did not 'secede,' it being true that a majority of the people expressed their aversion to rebellion—this majority being, for the occasion, the ruling one, in virtue of the principle to which all equally deferred. But it is the will of the ruling or aristocratic class in all similar cases, and not the forms of law or principle, which accomplishes such changes, whether according to the forms of law or in disregard of them. This class are never respecters of principle, but rule in virtue not of what principles empower them to do, as a majority, but of the power of might and dominant strength. It is obvious that were they to do the former, they would be destitute of any other power than pertained to the whole community, they in part, and others equally. Accordingly, they having, once for all, in their adhesion to the Constitution, and again on its eve, consented to an election, and therefore its issue, when a majority of the entire nation elected a representative of the Chicago declaration, they reverted to their power of might, and rebelled.

It is, therefore, the subversion of an unprincipled (the term is of the strictest accuracy) ruling class, or aristocracy, and the obliteration of their peculiar power, that we have to accomplish. This power consists wholly of certain peculiar interests as masters. To deprive them of these, is the only possible terminus of the question at issue. So plain and palpable is the whole question, that we need hardly say that their whole scheme of government turns upon and clusters about this interest. For the preservation of this interest, which they thought touched by the advances of freedom, they rushed into war, and for the conservation of their power, they base all upon it.

That the general question of property is at all affected by the obliteration of this interest, is an egregious error. The[Pg 200] property, the possession of which is valid and inviolable, is the product of human skill, industry, labor, invention, or what not. Nor does it confer political dominance on its possessor. The slaveholders are the only class in the nation whose property interest does so; and reciprocally, the sole object of the maintenance of this interest is the maintenance of this dominant power. Whether it be or be not criminal to possess it, is not the point upon which the demand for the abrogation of this interest turns—at least, there is no legal precedent to so think of it—but it turns upon the fact that it is ruinous to a republican system. Not the whole force of republicanism can at once maintain itself and conserve and cherish that; and if it, to a certain extent cherish it, it will do no more than continue the basis of the power of a class, who will use it in the only way it can be used, namely, in contesting whatever interests, principles, or practices are averse to it.

Hence, for more than thirty years not a single widely beneficent measure of legislation has been allowed to pass and become operative by the representatives of this interest. So the South, the seat of this interest, has always been, in its own estimation, 'the South,' despite what we have said of a national Union; rendering it impossible that the republican patriot could unite in one sentiment that which this particular interest divided itself from.

That humanity should dictate the freedom of the slave in the interests of morality, is but natural. With this we have nothing to do; but that the being of an 'aristocracy based on property' should be excluded from the bounds of a republic, is of an importance to it and mankind, not second to religion itself.



The Chinese thief, they say, greases himself and sticks knives in his queue, so that it is nest to impossible to catch him. Old Time is about as slippery a fellow as a Chinese thief. I don't know that he has a queue, and have fancied that when queues were worn, and Time was in the fashion, some old fogy, too slow to keep up with him, caught him by his queue. Time, who never yet was detained by mortal grasp, pressed on and left it behind. Since then he has cultivated only that ungraspable forelock. Fleet of foot as he is, it is thought that Young America, with his telegraphs, will, in the long run—that is, in the race round the world—come out 'a leetle ahead' of him. Indeed, Young America talks of annihilating Time. But, though he may have 'one foot on land and one on sea,' he has no commission to 'swear that time shall be no more.'

We are a fast people—no mistake. Perhaps a little too fast. Did we only anticipate Time, and pull down only what, with those sure sappers and miners of his, the years, he is certain to overthrow, it would be well enough. But we wish to destroy what he has left untouched, or would remodel it, would modernize it.

The dear old creed of our fathers; old creed, did I say? Ever new creed; for what Time passes by, never grows old. This we would change to suit ourselves, fancying we have outgrown it; or thinking it, like the Spartan iron coin, too cumbersome for general circulation, we would change it for lighter, and as we think, more precious metal. We deem this the age of gold.

There is a great deal said about our progress toward mental and moral perfection. Some seem to think that education is all we need to make us perfect moral beings. 'Ignorance is the cause[Pg 201] of all evil;' all things are as they should be; our minds are as the camera obscura, a darkened chamber which a few rays enter, and every thing only appears upside down. All we need is more light, to see to set every thing straight. It is true that we see things in an inverted position; but in this prison-house, we shall never have light enough to see them as they are. There is a lens that corrects these false impressions, and the light that enters through it shows us many things upside down that we before saw right side up, and vice versa.

Intoxicated with conceit, we fancy that we have but to eat of the tree of knowledge to become gods. Some go so far as to say that we are even now a part of divinity. 'The universe—it is God;' therefore we, as a part of the universe, are a part of God. The universe God? If it is a part of God, (which it is not,) it is so small a fraction that in all mathematical calculations, it would be called nothing. Were all the minds in the universe mingled into one, that one would be but as a drop to the ocean that girdles Infinity—God.

You will think me too earnest. The O'Mollys were ever an earnest race and an orthodox race. With what earnestness did they, in the good old times, from those peculiarly Irish goblets, that wouldn't stand, drink Irish whisky, till they partook of the nature of the goblets and came to the floor with them—the goblets with a crash, but the O'Mollys got up as sound as a bell, and next morning were ready to attend mass, into which they entered with as much earnestness as into their revelry. No people equal the Irish in earnestness in spiritual matters. It is perhaps not for a female O'Molly to record these roysterings; but I am the last of my race, I only am left to chronicle the glorious doings of my ancestors. Then, too, on our escutcheon is one of these same goblets. The origin of this escutcheon it has been a family task to trace, with but little success, however, till the present generation, I had a cousin who inherited all the family pride. He became a martyr to his devotion to the 'time-honored custom;' for alas! good old Irish whisky is as certainly among the 'things that were,' as are the Irish kings. Some have shrewdly thought that it was the only real Irish king. Well, then, it is owing to this cousin's loyalty to the usurper, or rather pretender, that I am the family chronicler. He was wonderfully ingenious; could from the slightest hint guess at the whole story; he was equal to those naturalists who from one bone can make out the animal. With the remains of an old family tradition for his clue, he traced the origin of the escutcheon. It was on this wise. One of the Irish kings, traveling incog., stopped at the castle of an O'Molly, who, though he knew not the rank of his guest, entertained him with the utmost hospitality. Freely the goblet circulated, and as they two only drank from it, it was soon broken. The king, next morning, revealed his rank to his host, and dubbed him Knight of the Goblet; hence the goblet on the shield, an emblem of hospitality. And never has there been a stain on the escutcheon of the O'Mollys.

I said they were an orthodox race. Perhaps they were too bigoted in their adherence to the old customs and the old faith. But there is too much latitudinarianism in this nineteenth century. Too many think it matters but little what a man's belief is, if he is only sincere in it; as if the consequences of any thing could be averted by not believing in it. The hands of your clock may be so turned around that they will point to the wrong figures; does that change the time? Or, what amounts to the same thing, it may be so ill-regulated, the machinery may be so out of gear, that you are deceived. But morning, noon, and night do not regulate their face by your clock. There is a dial that unerringly marks 'the stately stoppings' of the sun of suns—let us regulate our belief by it.

Truth is not like the clouds that, it is said, take the form of the country over which they pass. It does not change to[Pg 202] suit your condition or mind, and we can not change it, neither can we dilute it. What is not truth is falsehood, and this, as the acid dissolved the pearl which Cleopatra dropped into it, will dissolve truth and convert it into its own nature.

How little we prize truth, even if we do not thus attempt to dissolve it. It lies in our heart unheeded. We are almost as unconscious of it as the oyster is of the pearl within his shell.

A friend of mine, having a daughter 'to finish,' looked over advertisement after advertisement, till finally her eye lighted on the circular of Mrs. Smith's Female Seminary, situated in the quiet and salubrious village of——, within a few minutes' walk of three or four places of worship.... Great care taken of the health, manners, and morals of the pupils.... Exercise insisted on.... Those whose parents may wish it, allowed the use of a quiet saddle-horse.... The pupils under the immediate supervision of the principal.... They have all the comforts of Home, etc., etc. All this, in addition to a thorough course of instruction in every thing ever heard of, not forgetting the Use of the Globes.... Music on the piano and guitar; there are six pianos in the institution.... Drawing, Monochromatic, Grecian, Oriental, etc., etc. Painting in oils and water-colors.... Embroidery, ten different kinds.... Terms, $—per annum. Then follows an imposing list of references, Reverends, Esquires, and Honorables.

My friend, taken with this, decided that her daughter, Bessie, should go to Mrs. Smith's seminary. Accordingly, a short time before the commencement of the next term, she accompanied her there; was so pleased with Mrs. Smith's bland politeness toward herself, and her affectionate, almost matronly manner toward her daughter, that she came away relieved of all anxiety on Bessie's account.

I hope I am not 'violating the sanctity of private correspondence,' in giving the following letter from Bessie:

'My Dear Molly: I received yours last evening, and hasten to reply, though, to answer your numerous questions will take me till after prayers. I shall consequently, as I am not the model pupil, get an absence-mark. You inquire as to the advancement I am making in my studies. One thing is certain, I shall not come home the encyclopedia mother expects. I'll not say that this 'flourishing institution' is a humbug; but will say that facts and the circular do not exactly tally. A few of the facts I will give, and you can judge for yourself.

'To begin with the supervision of the bland, portly principal. She enters the school-room makes a few criticisms, asks a blessing at the table; occasionally a misdemeanor is reported to her, when the offender is cited to the august presence, and duly reprimanded, not according to the quality of the offense, but, in an inverse proportion, to the quality of the offender. Her teachers do the mental drudgery of the institution. Their life is about as varied and pleasant as that of a churn-dog; that is, if the dog were kept churning all day. The balancing of accounts with them, and the making out of the bills for the patrons, are certainly 'under the immediate supervision of the principal.' These bills, which fond parents suppose amount to $—, have a rat-like appendage (excuse the expression) of 'incidentals,' that wasn't drawn into the modest 'terms' of the circular. I nearly forgot her Friday afternoon lectures, for which she sometimes substitutes Hannah More, and the Young Ladies' Own Book. These lectures are as commonplace as expatiations on the importance of cultivating the mind and heart, interspersed with 'hence the necessity,' and 'highly essential,' can mate them. Last Friday, as she was enlarging on the advantage of having had our birth in an enlightened, Christian land, Jenny Dean wrote on a slip of paper, and poked it over to me,'not have our berth in a Christian land.' Mrs. Smith saw her, confiscated the paper, and gave her a severe reprimand, for evincing such a disposition to trifle with serious things. Jenny was right; if ours is a Christian berth, commend me to heathendom. Mrs. Smith neglected to mention in her circular the instruction in entomology her pupils receive; probably because they are, as 'the Autocrat' says every traveler is, self-taught. I wish she would omit a few lessons in the 'Use of the Globes,' and teach the servants the use of hot water, corrosive sublimate, and roach-poison.

'I begin to understand why it is called a finishing school. Don't tell mother, or she will have me put in quarantine when I return. But, really, I'm getting quite thin; the demand made on my system being greater than the supply of 'plain wholesome[Pg 203] food.' Now, I'm not going to complain of this 'plain wholesome,' though the butter is sometimes strong, the lamb (?) ditto, (see circular in regard to home comforts.) But I wish you would suggest to mother the propriety of sending me another box; the last we finished in short metre. You know this is a finishing school. Only one of the girls of our hall is too mean to treat, and she gets lots of things from home. Yesterday, she brought a beautiful basket of apples to my room, just to show me how nice they looked. I suggested that 'the proof of the pudding was in the eating.' She was too obtuse to take the hint. It is almost sacrilege to talk so about her; she is Mrs. Smith's model pupil, which, as I before informed you, your humble servant is not. Jenny Dean and I are always getting into trouble. Somehow, we've got a bad name, and our slightest misdemeanor is noticed, so we think that we 'might as well be killed for a sheep as a lamb:' in other words, if the camel's back must be broken, it may as well be by a hundred-pound weight as a feather.

'We have an Italian music-teacher, chiefly noticeable for his length of limb, an exiled nobleman, of course. I hinted to Jenny a doubt as to his nobility. She said, if he didn't belong to 'the Brahmin caste,' he did to the Bramah cast, and that was the next thing to it. He has become violently attached to the assistant music-teacher, who is very thin. Now, he has been teaching us to screech 'For Bonnie Annie Laurie.' Jenny persists in calling it, For bony Annie Laurie. The gravity with which he each time corrects her is amusing. Signor executes to the admiration of patrons, etc.; though music on those horrid pianos is rather like music on the rack. Of the six inventoried, (see circular,) two are in the garret, superannuated; two more ought to be; as for the remaining two, on one of them your friend Bessie practices, and it is too great a trial to her nerves to speak of them. You say that you have music in your souls that I must learn to express for you; that you can't turn a tune to save your life; that the attempt is like the attempt to make a curve of straight lines, (you see how I remember all you write or say.) If you were here, you would wish all the melody of the institution voiceless, and that it wouldn't ooze out at the finger-ends.

'As for drawing, (see circular,) this department, to save expense, Mrs. Smith's accomplished daughter has. She teaches crayoning and pencilling—a few learn to daub in water-colors—but this she rather discourages, as colored crayoning is much easier and quite as showy—this is the word for everything here. Miss Smith also teaches French—Anglicized. It is hardly worth while to mention 'the solids,' as these are shoved into a corner to give place to the accomplishments.... As for the exercise—we do, two or three times a week, file down the street, then file back again—are thus exhibited to the admiring gaze of the Esquires, Reverends, and Honorables, (see circular.) The 'quiet saddle-horse' (see circular) is a 'poetic fiction,' a 'pious fraud'—as much a myth as Pegasus himself. Though there is a tradition in the school that, a short time after the founding of the establishment, the late lamented husband of Mrs. Smith, who was fond of equestrian exercise, kept a horse—which a parlor-boarder, niece of Mrs. Smith, was allowed to ride—hence the provision in the circular. One part of it is correct—he doubtless is now a very quiet saddle-horse—that is, if he had not the tenacity of life of the lamb that, judging from the savory odor, we are to have for dinner, ('what's in a name?') Perhaps the 'late lamented' was as fond of his nag as was the man who entertained his guests with his horse in the form of soup. Jenny Dean says that is what she calls true horse-pitality.

'There goes the bell. Don't forget the box. Mrs. Smith—unlike many principals—approves of them—the reason you can guess—the fact please mention to mother. In haste,


It seems hardly consistent with my regard for the 'dear reader,' to add any thing by way of remark on this true school-girl letter. But it is so suggestive. How many circulars do tally with facts? Even in those of the best schools, that need none of this clap-trap, there is a little humbug. But this is rather the fault of the patrons; like Bessie's mother, they will hardly look at a plain advertisement. The truth is, we love to be humbugged. Among the 'wants of the age' may be classed humbug.

I have read of a painter with disproportionately short legs, who, in all his pictures of human figures—from Moses down to the Mayor, done in heroic style—substituted his own legs. Your thorough utilitarian, deficient in imagination, his idea of mental symmetry being his own mental proportions, thinks no mind well balanced that has not a similar deficiency. He is a believer in nothing but the real and the useful—all else is stuff and nonsense; to him a mountain is a high elevation of land; a plain, a[Pg 204] level tract; a forest, so much timber in a green state; a cloud, a collection of vapor. He sees in every thing just what there is in it and nothing more. Why does any one see more? It has been a puzzle to me, the undefinable longing I have sometimes felt in looking at a beautiful scene; a feeling akin to this, though lower, is that awakened by the fragrance of some flowers—it is so unsatisfactory, you wish to taste them. These somethings bring up a shadow of 'shadowy recollections,' an echo of an echo of a past so indistinct, so dimly distant, that it seems to have been a part of another life.

It may be that all earthly things are but types of spiritual things in a future spiritual existence—hence the yearning; or they may be expressions of spiritual things in a past spiritual existence—hence the 'shadowy recollections.' One thing is certain: all beauty and grandeur are faint expressions of the ideas of the All-Father; therefore, O utilitarian! you do wrong to ask of them: 'What use?' Better cultivate a taste for them, and with this taste an earnest desire to look into that Mind and read there thoughts of which Mont Blanc and the exquisite flowers are but feeble utterances.

How the Great Teacher has lavished on us illustrations of his goodness, as if he would in some way make it plain to all, 'what use.' There must be a use in every thing he creates. Every dew-drop that the meanest weed has wooed and won from the atmosphere, is as tenderly cared for by him, as the stream is that supplies your mill-pond; every briny tear on the infant's cheek, as the ocean that bears on its bosom your merchant-vessels. What use? Have not some things been made useless—in your sense of the term—that they might be preserved from destruction? The gorgeous-plumed birds, and brightly-enameled fish of the tropics, are unfit for food—so, to your mind, of no use. I wonder if this holds good in cannibal countries; if so, it would be no protection to poor Molly O'Molly if she were there.

I, too, am a believer in the real and the useful; but to me, the sphere of both is almost infinite. Are not the feelings awakened on viewing a beautiful sunset, as real as your satisfaction after eating roast-beef? Though I acknowledge that no one can thoroughly enjoy the one, who feels the need of the other; if then weighed in the scale, the sunset would 'kick the beam.' All things 'by season seasoned are to their right praise and true perfection.' It would, for instance, be rather out of place to talk of the beauty of the stars to the houseless wanderer, for whom there were no 'cheerful lights of home;' to expatiate on the loveliness of the moon to him who must spend the chill night with no other covering than her 'silver mantle.'... Moonlight and memory are associated together in my mind—reflections of a set sun, wrapping in their calm, beautiful light, all things, even the graves of those we love.... I have thought that the murmur of the brook was the voice of Silence. Moonlight expresses to the eye—silence.... 'All this unreal?' I beg your pardon; I claim for my feelings the same reality that you claim for yours. Is only what is gross real? Is not the sky as real as the mountain that pierces it? Is there more reality in the chink of the dollar than in 'the music of the spheres'? This first is, I acknowledge, to me a pleasant sound, though only 'heard at rarest intervals.'... Yet I am rather inclined to believe in the reality of the music of the spheres; it is too ethereal, too spiritual a music for the ear to sense it; the food and drink of the gods, ambrosia and nectar, even were we to swallow them, could our mortal palates taste them? Even thus may we drink in the music of the spheres, and, strange as it may seem, the more ear we have, the less likely we will be to hear it.

But—not 'in this connection,' in no connection—the utilitarian also thoroughly despises cobweb theories, as he[Pg 205] terms them. The world owes its greatest achievements to theories—cobwebs they may be. In caves have been found books of stone, whose nucleus was but cobweb; along these webs the calcareous solution ran, and hardened into stone. A cobweb theory has been the thread, on which, drop by drop, as it were, experiments have run and hardened into a possibility on which might be hung a steam-boat.

There goes the night-train. Every morning as the engine with its train passes, the dark smoke rushing out of the chimney is touched by the rays of the rising sun and made glorious. I doubt not my enjoyment in looking at it is as real as that of the heaviest stockholder. Here I 'pitch my foot against'—as Paley says in his famous watch-argument—a quotation.

'Life is transfigured in the soft and tender
Light of love, as a volume dense
Of rolling smoke becomes a wreathed splendor
In the setting sun.'

But this warm subject of love I avoid as the whale avoids the warm water of the Gulf Stream. So I will wheel about—first, one more digression: This love, like the Gulf Stream, softens many a climate naturally as cold as that of Labrador. I just throw out this hint for the sentimental reader to enlarge upon.

That quotation from Alexander Smith reminds me of one other thing, for which your utilitarian has a sovereign contempt—that is poetry. What is poetry? Every thing that stirs the soul to its depths, or but crisps the surface, is poetry—every truth does this, therefore every truth is poetry. Mind, I don't say conversely, etc. There—that word 'conversely,' suggests to you that now you have me; there is mathematical truth, you say; you might as well attempt to raise a tree from cube-root as to attempt to make poetry sprout from mathematics.... Is there no poetry in the marked path of the vessel on the trackless ocean—no poetry in the magnificent sweep of suns and worlds through space—in the eccentric orbit of the faithful comet—faithful, for from the most distant errands he passes right by earth, and even Venus, lingers not a moment, but hastens back to his lord—is there no poetry in the icing over of the brook, (if you think not, read Lowell's Sir Launfel,) each icy crystal being an exact geometrical figure? When 'God geometrizes,' he also poetizes.

Then if we can't say conversely all poetry is truth, yet poetry gives to every thing she touches with her magic wand, the charm of reality. Are not Ariel, Puck, Oberon, real characters, though but 'beings of the mind'? Shylock and Lady Macbeth are to me as real as John Wesley and Hannah More, and far more real than the dimly defined heroes of Plutarch, except those that Shakspeare has thrilled with his own life-blood—his very ghosts have an awful individuality—they are enough to make you believe in ghosts. But hark! what was that—pshaw! it is only a screech-owl on the maple near my window—Keats' 'owl, for all his feathers, was a-cold,' I should think this was, from his shivering notes. Listen again! how old is the dead Time, whose age the distant town-clock is tolling? I don't care to count—to tell the truth, that owl makes me nervous—and if it is 'the witching time of night,' I don't care to know it—so good-night.

In haste, Molly O'Molly.[Pg 206]


Up the quiet street in the early Sunday morning, came with slow
steps and silently, two wounded soldiers:
One with shattered arm and a cruel sabre-cut on his forehead;
One with amputated leg, hobbled slowly along on crutches.

In the thunder-storm and sharp crash of terrible battle, 'mid blood,
carnage, and death,
Comrades in arms, they fell side by side; one of them senseless, the
other feeling his life-blood flowing away...
Faintness came over him, breathing the sulphurous smoke, with the
tornado of battle stunning his brain—
Faintness—forgetfulness. A vision of childhood, of the sweet
Heaven-time of life, came to him...
He hoped it was death, coming as no king of terrors, but as a
beautiful flower-crowned child,
Bidding a hero welcome to the great halls of the laurel-wreathed
dead—those who died for their country.

From this dream of the Future came sharp awaking to life; rattling
away in the ambulance...
Crashing pains shooting wildly from leg to brains—the heart now and
then grasped with steel fingers and squeezed...
The knife and the tourniquet, the rapid surgical operation: the
poor, pale fellow maimed for life.

At home in a hospital kindly nursed and tended, hearing for the
first time in life the name of God—not taken in vain: seeing the
good deeds of true woman...
Knowing that should he die he would ask no gentler sounds to cheer
him on his road to the Hereafter, than the prayer he once heard
read by The Lady in Gray to a dying soldier in the same
hospital:... thus passed he back again to life.
Now convalescent he walks in the fresh morning up the quiet street,
under the leafy shadow of lindens... he and his comrade in battle.

In the faces of both you may see that they know how earnest is
The Angel of Death on the battle-field raised the veil of the
Future: transient the glimpse, but they will never forget it...
The Angel of Mercy here in the hospital bound up their wounds,
cheering their hearts with kind looks and well-spoken words of
true sympathy...
Solemnly earnest and beautiful is Life to these two wounded soldiers.

The lame one is weary, and halts by the steps of a handsome house;
his comrade with one arm helps him sit down there, on the lowest
[Pg 207]step, leaning against the white marble balustrade.
Through lace and silk curtains, from drawing-room window, looks down the street
a beautiful woman, waiting impatiently carriage, coachman, and footman,
to carry her grandly to church.
Up comes the carriage; wide open the doors of the house: Madame descends...
How is this?... She stops by the two wounded soldiers.

I have two sons in the army, she thought; what if they were weary and wounded
like these?
Then she speaks to the comrades in battle, and learning where they were going,
insisted on their taking her carriage. She will have no refusal: and now
John the footman, inwardly groaning, assists the lame man to enter, then
the other one takes a seat...
Off they whirl to their hospital-home, with a blessing upon the fair lady who dared
follow the teachings of One whom that morning she worshiped with words ...
and with deeds.

Open your hands—and your hearts—ye who stand afar off from the battle! Lo!
the wounded and dying are here at your doors.
Slumber no more; but awake, awake to their cries!

Transcriber's Note: Because of the length of the lines, the above piece has been formatted as in the original.


The accumulation of wealth has always been a chief proclivity of our race. The earliest of all books (Job) mentions it with sharp reproof, as though even then it had become a theme with the moralist. In olden time, wealth was even more unreliable than at the present day, especially as the mere possession of gold was enough to endanger one's life. The modern capitalist avoids this by devolving the custody of his cash on some bank and holding its stock instead of a hoard of ingots. The science of wealth now takes a more philosophic turn, and may be summed up in one word, debt. To be rich is simply to have brought the community in debt to yourself; and the greater it is, the greater, of course, your riches. To be poor is simply to reverse this condition, and to be in debt to others. The richest of all mankind may not have on hand, in specie, at any one time, more than the amount of a single day's income, and may be only able to show for his entire capital sundry pieces of paper, representing value. This is a vast improvement upon antiquity, since then wealth was identified with the holding of bullion, for whose protection an especial deity was invented. By a strange coïcidence, while Pluto was god of the lower regions, a slight change of the name represented his moneyed colleague, and Plutus presided over money. This connection is with sober wit hit off by Milton, who sets the fallen angels at once to work digging gold.

'Soon had his crew
Opened into the hills a spacious wound
And digged out ribs of gold. Let none admire
That riches grow in hell: that soil may best
Deserve the precious bane.'

The term 'almighty dollar' is stereotyped in modern slang, and yet the idea could not but have existed under other words in the days of those flush individuals, Midas and Crœsus. The first of these moneyed gentlemen found gold too plenty for comfort, while the latter, by his unfortunate end, proved that[Pg 208] even at that early time riches had learned to fly away. Gold entered very largely into the politics of antiquity, and by this means Crassus got a partnership in the grand triumvirate of which Mark Antony and Octavius formed the more active parties. Poor Crassus found, however, that to be a sleeping partner in a concern was quite a dangerous position.

The danger in which money involves its possessor, is shown with dramatic power by Scott, in his splendid medieval dream, Ivanhoe—in the torture-scene, where the Jew is racked to obtain his gold. In connection with this, it may be noted as a surprising fact that while poverty has always been dreaded, it has ever been exempt from one term of peculiar wretchedness. With all his privation, who ever heard a poor man designated as a miser?

Wealth is a matter of comparison. The original term applied by the New-England savages to the white was, knifeman; the possession of one implement making the latter rich in the view of the Indian. What a vast investment in wampum would such a weapon be? Carrying out the same comparative idea, it is reported as one of John Jacob Astor's sayings: 'That a man worth fifty thousand dollars is as well off as though he was rich.' So strong is this comparative aspect, that the money-hunter finds his mark continually receding, and when he has attained his hundred thousand, he is appalled by finding himself but a mere beginner compared with others. He is but at the foot of the mountain which others have climbed, and which towers above him in

'Many a fiery, many a frozen Alp.'

Hence, there is nothing more clearly proven in the psychology of man than that accumulation utterly fails to fulfil the idea attached to riches; that is, satiety or even satisfaction, and there is often a bitter poverty of soul gnawing the owner of millions. The organic thought crops out of great and small alike. It is said that the chief of Boston merchants of the olden time, William Gray, when asked what would satisfy him, replied, 'A little more;' while the Indian to whom the same inquiry was made, replied with aboriginal simplicity: 'All the whisky and all the tobacco in the world.' 'Nothing else?' added the inquirer. 'Yes,' replied the Indian in an anxious tone, 'a little more whisky.' The same insatiable craving is shown in poor Isaac K——, the half-witted boy, whose droll sayings of a half-century ago are still remembered about Boston. 'Father,' he one day exclaimed, 'I wish every body was dead but you and me.' 'Why so, my son?' 'Why, then, father, you and I would go out and buy all the world.'

The power of gold to inflict pain on its possessor suggests deep philosophical inquiry. Even at a superficial view, one can not but be struck by the fatal facility which it affords to vice on the one hand, while on the other, how many suffer untold distress from the miser's self-inflicted poverty? There are multitudes of ruined youth, who, had they been bound to labor instead of being reared to a life of affluent ease, would have become useful men. Indeed, by merely changing the costume of Hogarth's Rake's Progress, we may see it enacted by scores of young men in any of our leading cities. The writer once knew a worn-out debauchee of thirty, who, even at that early age, had got rid of an inheritance of a half-million.

The miseries of poverty are severe, and such men as Johnson and De Quincey have painted them in colors drawn from their own experience; but what scenes vastly more terrible might they not have sketched had they held that master-key which unlocks the abodes of pleasure and summons the dreadful crew of temptation?

One can not but pity the former of these, as he thinks of his wandering the live-long night through the streets of London, unable to buy a lodging, and eating each occasional meal, not knowing when he would get another. Yet, had as this might have been, how vastly[Pg 209] more pitiable would his case have been, had he fulfilled the infernal career of some of his rich cotemporaries, such as Lord Lyttelton or Lord Euston, whose dying horrors Young has so thrillingly described in his Altamont. Horace, who had so thoroughly studied the philosophy of life, could refer to his lowly condition:

'Sæva paupertas et avitus apto
Cum lare fundus:'

and then cite the race reared in poverty as those who saved the commonwealth, by defeating Hannibal. His deep-toned objurgations at the degeneracy of Rome are brought to mind by the increased dissipation and licentiousness of American youth.

Who can read lines like these without thinking of our concert-saloons and other facilities of vice? (the former happily suppressed.)

Damnasa quid non immmuit dies.

The history of capitalists would be interesting, if only as showing this single feature, namely, that the secret of great success lies in one's placing himself in some channel where the stream must soon flow, and thus anticipating the future.

Johnson, in the midst of his cheerless poverty, had some golden dreams, was sensible of this fact, and illustrates it in one of those Oriental apologues which occur in the Rambler, where he shows the tiny rivulet gradually filling a lake. With the same idea permeating his mind, he exclaims, when Thrale's brewery was to be sold: 'Here are the means of wealth beyond the dreams of avarice.'

The history of rich men also proves that it is not so much the art of getting as that of keeping which insures success. New-York and other of our great cities contain thousands of poor men who, but a few years ago, were heavy operators, and whose future seemed brilliant with promise. Yet here they are, now struggling for mere bread.

Riches are winged creatures, which break cage with strange facility and are not to be whistled back again. The array of agents, brokers, book-keepers, and decayed gentlemen who but lately were numbered among merchants, bankers, and ship-owners, is quite a moving spectacle. Thus A. B——, for thirty years connected with trade, during most of which period he was a leading member of the great cloth house of——, has been worth two hundred thousand dollars, but is now a book-keeper for a concern in John street. I. S—— has been forty years in trade, and was considered successful beyond all liability to future risk; and for many years ranked among the rich men of the street, but has since failed, and is now poor. B—— and M——, princes in the dry-goods line, built two palatial stores in Broadway, have been immensely rich, but after battling honorably with adverse fortune, have failed. J. R——, a retired merchant, estimated at five hundred thousand dollars, holding at one time fifty thousand dollars in Delaware and Hudson Canal stock, subsequently got involved and lost all. Instances like these might be multiplied to volumes, but they are sufficient to illustrate the transitory nature of earthly possessions.

The great capitalists of New-York are chiefly identified with its real estate, and their wealth has generally arisen from its advance in value. Few great fortunes have lasted long, when left to 'the caprices of trade, and the sons of our merchant-princes generally turn out poor men. The great estates of the city are of a very limited number, and are mainly included in the names of Whitney, Goellet, Lorrillard, Rhinelander, Stuyvesant, Lenox, and Astor. The first of these was so long an habitué of Wall street, Front street, and Coenties Slip, that even now, when wandering along those thoroughfares, we almost momently expect to meet him. We can not but think that at the next turn we shall see that shrunken and diminutive form, that meagre, hungry-looking countenance, and that timid, nervous eye, which indicated the fear of loss or the dread approach of charity. His office was held for years in the second story of a ware[Pg 210]house in Front street, a spot in whose vicinity he had passed nearly three-score years. Thither he had come in his boyhood, a poor, friendless, New-Jersey lad, had found friends and employment, had at last got to be a grocer, and had gradually accumulated a large capital, by the closest economy. At this time the war of 1812 broke out, and cotton became very low, in consequence of the difficulty of shipping it to England. Mr. Whitney had at that time a vast amount of outstanding accounts in the Southern States, and his debtors were glad to pay him in this depreciated article. We have been informed that Jackson's cotton defences of New-Orleans were of his property. As neutral ships were permitted to sail between the belligerent ports, Mr. Whitney exported large quantities of cotton to England, and held the balance of his stock until the close of the war, when it advanced enormously. This advance, together with the proceeds of his exports, at once made him a millionaire, and the capital thus acquired never lost a chance of increase. Giving up the details of trade, Mr. Whitney bought large quantities of real estate, on which he erected warehouses and obtained a princely rental. In addition to this, he dealt more largely in commercial paper than any other man in the city and perhaps in the Union. His habits of industry continued, and were a theme of remark, as we observed him in his daily walk from his office to the great moneyed centre of America, where the price of paper and money rates regaled his ears. He was a good judge of paper, and needed no one to advise him. He touched nothing but what in commercial parlance is termed 'gilt-edged,' and of this he purchased almost daily for thirty years. These notes being made payable to the order of the drawers, needed no other indorsement, and hence might pass through an hundred hands without this fact becoming known. Mr. Whitney's bills receivable falling due in Wall street must have been at the rate of thirty thousand dollars per day, and his purchases of paper, of course, were at about the same rate. Much of this paper brought rates but little better than interest, but on others from one to two per cent per month was obtained. The secrets of this trade are deep and little understood, and few even of the best dealers knew that when their notes had been given for invoices of merchandise, they passed almost directly into the hands of a few bill-buyers, and that perhaps in Stephen Whitney's portfolio might be found almost the whole amount of good paper made in Front or South streets. Mr. Kimball's recent work, Undercurrents, throws much light on this traffic, and exhibits the result of deep study of our mercantile system.[4] Mr. Whitney's management of his estate soon brought him up to an estimate of ten millions. I used not only to meet him daily at the mart, but also attended the same church, (Dr. Alexander's.) He was a regular attendant, and a close listener, and I used to marvel how he could bear the plain truths that fell upon my ears. Here in the pulpit, at least, was one who was no money-worshiper. How well we remember the exclamation from that earnest preacher: 'Wealth! in comparison with this thing, (religion,) let it not be mentioned!' Whitney was a great admirer of plain preaching, though, we believe, he never got into the communion of the Church. Both the preacher and his millionaire listener are now dead, and the church has been pulled down, and the site is now covered by a block of splendid stores. Mr. Whitney's charities were on a very limited scale. When the congregation above referred to were building a mission-house, he was applied to, to head[Pg 211] the subscription, which he did with a trifling sum. The gift was refused, and a larger one was demanded, as in better keeping with his position. 'Sir,' was his reply, 'if you go on this way, there will not be a rich man left in the city of New-York.' It is also said that on a certain occasion, he was called on to aid a political movement with his subscription. 'Sir,' was his reply, 'I have no money to spare, but I'll come and sit up all night to fold ballots for you.'

The Lorrillard estate was chiefly acquired through an immense tobacco business which the patriarch of that house started nearly a century ago, and which led to the purchase of large landed property. The original identity of the name continues, and 'short cut' and 'ladies' twist' are still sold under the sign and brand of the Lorrillards. We presume that it is the oldest house in America.

The Stuyvesant farm was a vast but unprofitable tract of marshes in the eastern part of New-York, but now covered by serried blocks, and among the most densely populated portions of the city. Forty years ago, these marshes were favorite skating-fields in winter, and here a lad was at that time actually drowned by the breaking of the ice. Being out of town, the drier portions were converted into an American Tyburn, and here the murderer Johnson was hanged. Such were the Stuyvesant meadows, whose worthless wastes have been raised to immense value by the growth of the city.

Among those of our city capitalists who are more identified with general benevolence, the names of Stuart and Lenox are chief. Messrs. Stuart are two brothers, who are largely engaged in refining sugars, and who have in this business made large sums. The concern originated in a small shop, where, some fifty years ago, a Scotchwomen sold candy, with her two boys as clerks. Instead of that little candy-shop, there stands on the same spot an enormous refinery, whose operations employ hundreds of hands, and whose purchases are by cargoes. What would the worthy mother say to this transformation of her shop, as by some act of magic? But it is the magic of industry and enterprise. The Stuarts use their wealth with judicious liberality, and evidently mean that the world shall be better for their living in it. Their contributions are large, and their opportunities are great, for be it remembered, such men are under incessant solicitation. Indeed, there are few things more fatal to one's peace than a reputation for liberality, which lays one open to a siege of begging faces and an inundation of begging letters, whose demands would exhaust all resources. It is our opinion that, avoiding ostentation on the one hand and importunity on the other, the Stuarts contribute conscientiously to every worthy enterprise, in a proportion corresponding to their profits.[5]

The name of Lenox appears among some of the early Scotch emigrants, such as the Irvings, Masons, Douglases, Grahams, etc. Robert Lenox became a distinguished New-York merchant. His profits were wisely invested in land, and this became very valuable. His only son, James, inherited the larger portion of this estate, whose increasing value made him a millionaire, and in its use, he has exhibited a remarkable benevolence.

We say exhibited, for though acting with studied secresy and silence, his life has been so full of good works, that they can not be hid. In these benefactions, Mr. Lenox exercises close discrimination, and for this purpose has for years refused personal applications. This measure, indeed, was necessary, in order to escape a perpetual siege, which would soon have driven any man distracted. He has been in the habit of considering written applications, and of selecting such as seemed worthy of his patronage. Mr. Lenox annually disburses an enormous sum in a most useful as well as most quiet manner. Indeed, his man[Pg 212]sion is one of the benevolent institutions of the day, and to all intents and purposes, its occupant is but an actuary driven by perpetual duties and working with assiduity to fulfil an important trust. He is a thoroughly practical man, posted on all the details of business, and, inheriting the peculiar abilities and energy of his father, puts them to the best of use.

We may say that the whole purpose of his life is benevolence to all classes. Mr. Lenox will pardon us if we allude to his munificent gifts toward educational enterprise, and especially to those which enrich the institutions of Princeton. He has long been a trustee of Nassau Hall, in whose behalf he has expended large sums, and whose gallery is enriched with his portrait. The Theological Seminary is also an object of his affectionate care. A few years ago, he observed that it needed increased accommodation for its growing library. Carrying out a scheme which had its inception in this circumstance, he quietly employed an architect to draft plans, while at the same time a suitable range grounds was obtained, the materials hauled from New-York, and the present noble edifice, known as the Lenox Library, erected. That library has been of vast assistance to the institution, and not a student visits its alcoves, who does not gratefully remember its founder with a sentiment like that uttered by Gray in reference to Eton:

'Where grateful science still adores
Her Henry's sacred shade.'

We understand that it has been recently decided to change this structure into an oratory, and to build another library, and we presume that in this also Mr. Lenox takes the initiative. We have referred to the fact that Mr. Lenox only considers written applications, but lest this statement should lead to their increase, we would add a word of explanation. Their number has already become so large as to create a great burden, and the daily task of reading these his begging letters is very annoying. Mr. Lenox is greatly overladen, and we advise any one who may think of his name as a dernier resort, to refrain from adding to the labors of an overworked philanthropist. Rest assured, dear reader, that Mr. Lenox will do all possible good with his money, and if it fails to reach you, it may flow to a more deserving object.

Mr. Lenox is deeply interested in the Free Church of Scotland, and was one of its most efficient helpers at the time of its exodus. A correspondence between him and De. Chalmers conveyed his benefactions through the noblest of instrumentalities, and a portrait of the great Scottish theologian graces the mansion of his American friend. It was painted by Henry Inman, during his sojourn abroad, and is the finest picture of Chalmers we have ever seen. Mr. Lenox is a man of fine taste, and finds recreation in gathering rare books, of which he has a valuable collection, and he possesses, in addition, a splendid gallery of pictures. Among them are two of Turner's landscapes, and we know of no others in America.[6] We might say more of this estimable man, but will not too soon anticipate the voice of fame. Our statements are made mainly to correct some false impressions about one who, with all his reticence, is one of the public men of his day, and who fulfills the idea of the poet:

'Do good by stealth and blush to find it fame.'

Such a man was George Douglas, one of the same circle of wealthy citizens of Scotch descent, who, though in a pecuniary view, hardly in the same rank with Mr. Lenox, was still very rich. Mr. Douglas preserved a studied retirement, and passed much of his time on his noble farm, but was still active in philanthropy. His estate can not be far from a half-million, yet it was used humbly in the service of his race.

'Though nursed in greatness, and to riches born,
[Pg 213]Yet in earth's fairest flower he saw the thorn.
Beneath the finest linen sackcloth felt,
And bound his purple with an iron belt;
Lived Heaven's trustee, and lent, and gave away,
To God's own heirs who never could repay;
And died a rare example to the great,
Of lowly virtue in a high estate.'

But among all American capitalists the name of Astor looms up in unapproachable solitude, and stands as it has stood for nearly forty years.

We may get the better idea of the Astor estate by a comparative view. Thus, a man worth one hundred thousand dollars is a rich man; a man worth five hundred thousand dollars is a very rich man; a millionaire is still more the ideal of wealth. Mr. Astor, then, is, if rightly estimated, equal to twenty-five millionaires, or two hundred and fifty rich men of the class first mentioned. In the seven hundred thousand inhabitants of New-York, there are not more than two hundred men worth one hundred thousand dollars; not more than twenty-five of the second; not more than ten of the last. Approaching the assessment-roll, we may estimate the Astor estate at one thirtieth of the entire city. Thus he stands one seven hundred thousandth in the proportion of population, and one thirtieth in that of wealth; or in other words, he owns what would be a fair proportion for twenty-five thousand of his fellow-citizens. The commencement of this estate was, as is well known, by small beginnings.

Among the emigrants who landed in New-York about the close of the French Revolution, was a rude German, from Baden Baden, whose life in the New World was commenced as a laborer. He afterward became a peddler of fancy goods, and eventually a dealer in peltries. In 1791 there appeared at Number 40 Little Dock street, the unpretending name of John Jacob Astor, and here the foundation of his estate was laid. Astor soon took fair rank among business men. He was prompt and snug in his dealing, honest and straightforward, and beside this, carried great weight of character in his countenance. No man could be much with him without being struck with his depth of character, and the solidity of his views. At that time the fur-trade was brisk along the Mohawk, and the peltries, after passing through the hands of frontier dealers, generally found their way into Astor's warehouse, in Liberty street. Here they were sorted with great care by his own hands, and prepared for foreign markets. An octogenarian merchant informed me that, calling once at Mr. Astor's store, he found him in an upper loft clad in a long, coarse wrapper, and engaged among his furs. 'I shall get for that,' said he, holding up the skin of a splendid silver fox, 'forty dollars, in St. Petersburg.' It probably cost him less than five dollars. Astor had no sooner gained a position as a thrifty trader, than he took a higher step by induction into Free-Masonry. We say a higher step, not with a view of glorifying this institution, but because at that time it was exceedingly popular and aristocratic, and gave tone to citizenship. Among the leading Free-Masons of New-York were Peter Irving and his brother William, Martin Hoffman, the founder of the great auction business, and father of the late L. M. Hoffman. Moving among these magnates, John Jacob Astor became Grand Treasurer. Mr. Astor had a brother of the same thrifty turn, though not so successful in acquiring wealth. He was a butcher by trade, and slaughtered himself into a pittance of one hundred thousand dollars, which, as he died early, he bequeathed to William B., his nephew. 'To him that hath shall be given.' Mr. Astor's oldest son is said to have been a very promising lad, but his brain became injured by a fall, and he soon fell into a state of derangement. A private asylum was arranged for his use years ago, and this, with its grounds, covers an entire block in the western part of the city.

Mr. Astor's profits rolled in upon him at a rate which no one could have dreamed of, and he kept their amount a secret until he had so penetrated the frontier by his agencies that he controlled the whole trade, when he occa[Pg 214]sionally acknowledged a degree of wealth which astonished those who heard. For instance, we may state this fact in illustration: He had occasion at a certain time to use a large amount of cash, and what was very rare with him, applied to his bank for a heavy discount. The unusual circumstance and the sum demanded startled the cashier, who in a plain, business way, put the question: 'Mr. Astor, how much do you consider yourself worth?' 'Not less than a million,' was the reply. A million! the cashier was overwhelmed. He supposed that he knew all his customers, and had rated Astor at hardly more than one tenth of that sum.

Mr. Astor commenced at an early day to buy real estate, and the habit grew upon him until it became a passion. He was for years a leading character at sheriff and other land sales, and it was the commonest thing at such places to hear the closing words of the auctioneer: 'Last call—going, going—gone—to John Jacob Astor.' At that time many large estates were broken up, and among others, that of Aaron Burr was put into the market, and speedily became the property of Mr. Astor. It embraced a small suburban principality, whose mansion, 'Richmond Hill,' was Burr's country-seat. The whole property is now in the heart of the city and is worth millions, where once it brought thousands. Mr. Astor boldly bought those wild lands, including swamps, rocky knolls, and barren commons, which lay at waste from Canal street onward to Bloomingdale, and while others affected to laugh at his judgment, the correctness of that judgment is now quite apparent. A case similar in character is that of the late eccentric Jonathan Hunt. This man, who had accumulated a vast fortune South, was quite noted, a few years ago, for his dashing land purchases in New-York, and his relatives actually served on him a warrant de lunatico inquirendo, with a view of preventing him from wasting his estate. Subsequently, however, it turned out that these incessant purchases which had made him a leading man at the Merchants' Exchange, and an object of distrust to his family, were splendid operations. Poor Hunt's bid was subsequently refused by the auctioneers, on the score of insanity, while the lots he bought on Madison avenue and elsewhere, were, in fact, as speculations, superior to the operations of the most sagacious speculators.

Astor's boldness increased with years. He bought government loans at a time when other capitalists shrunk, and the price had run down to the lowest mark. He bought claims against old estates—one of which paid an enormous profit, and would have been accounted a splendid fortune of itself—while the gradual increase of the city brought his waste lands into demand; and the opening of the Erie Canal may be said to have at one stroke added a million of dollars to the value of his estate. Whatever was bought was held with determined grasp, however small the prospect of advance. For instance, a friend of ours (now dead) purchased, in company with Mr. Astor, two lots on Broadway, of which they took separate deeds, and held for an advance. Year after year passed by, but no advance appeared, while assessments were continually made for city improvement. At the end of this period our friend called on Mr. Astor and stated that he was weary of such long delay in getting return for his investment, and asked him if he would not take the lot and give him its simple cost. Mr. Astor calmly acceded to the proposal. Had our friend held the same views as the great land operator, he would have realized a fortune from this single lot, since what then cost one thousand dollars is now worth fifty thousand dollars.

The Napoleonic character of Mr. Astor's mind is shown by the great commercial schemes which shared the claims of real estate. He was extending the ramifications of his trade through the North-west wilderness and competing with the Hudson Bay Company for the peltry taken by the numerous tribes of savages, while at the same time a vast[Pg 215] export trade was carried on with Europe, and also with China, whence he brought teas in exchange for furs. It was this broad ambition which prompted the grand scheme of a new station at the mouth of the Columbia. And this scheme, though it failed, was not without great national results. Its misfortunes were chronicled by the pen of Irving, and in his pages the story of the crew murdered, and the ship plundered and burned, was recorded among the tragedies of commerce.

Mr. Astor lived to old age, and his life was one of few changes. From his humble shop in Little Dock street (now Water street near Coenties Slip) he removed his place of business to Liberty street, (Number 71,) and subsequently to Broadway. His longest place of abode was Number 223 Broadway, now a part of the site of the Astor House, whence, after a residence in Hoboken, he removed up-town to a block in Broadway near Prince street. Here he remained until death, but he lived long enough to see the progress of the city covering his lands with dwellings, and bequeathed to his son the largest estate in America. Mr. Astor had a literary taste, and was fond of book-men. He gave Fitz-Green Halleck a snug and profitable clerkship, and on the death of the capitalist, William B. Astor presented to the poet the sum of ten thousand dollars. Mr. Astor also sought the acquaintance of Washington Irving on the return of that distinguished gentleman from Europe, and it was at his especial request that the Astoria was written. The friendship between these two distinguished men continued until death, when it was found that Mr. Irving had been appointed one of the executors of the will. The fees connected with this office could not have been less than one hundred thousand dollars, and the executors (six in number) at one time received ten thousand dollars apiece.

Mr. Astor's project of the library was conceived long before his death, and he had Dr. Cogswell for several years engaged in the collection of books for this purpose. The full provisions, however, were not known until the reading of the will developed the plan and funds. The plan was not carried out in detail, but was left to the judgment of the trustees, who modified it considerably, making an institution for reference instead of a mere circulating library.

To the original bequest Mr. William B. Astor has since added a large conveyance of real estate, and the institution is nearly double its original size. Speaking of Mr. William B. Astor, we may be led to a few references of a personal nature. As the ordinary street-passenger is traversing Prince street, he is not likely to be struck by any of its surroundings. The street itself is but of third-rate character, and the houses are but of a common stamp. Near Broadway, however, one may notice a small brick office, neatly built, of one story, with gable to the street, but with doors and windows closed, and the whole appearance one of security. Near the door may be seen a little sign which reads thus: 'Entrance next door: office hours from nine to three.' The next door, to which we are referred, is a plain three-story brick dwelling, with no name on the door, and might be taken for the residence of some well-to-do old-fashioned family. Hence one is quite startled to find that this is the headquarters of the chief capitalist of America. Entering the street-door, one will find himself in a small vestibule, neatly floored with checkered oil-cloth, and opening a door on his left, he will enter a well-lighted front-room, destitute of any furniture but a counting-house desk and a few chairs. At this desk stands an accountant (or perhaps two) working at a set of books, and evidently enjoying an easy berth. He will answer all ordinary inquiries, will do the duty of refusing charitable demands, and will attend to any thing in the ordinary run of business; but if one has any thing special on hand, he will point to a door opening into a rear office. This apartment is of moderate size and of simple furniture. On the table are a few books, and on[Pg 216] opening one of them, which appears well thumbed, it will be found to contain maps of plots of city property, carefully and elegantly executed, and embracing the boundaries of an enormous estate. Seated by the table may generally be seen a stout-built man with large and unattractive features, and upon the whole an ordinary face. He is plainly dressed, and has a somewhat care-worn look, and appears to be fifty or sixty years of age. One naturally feels (that is, if he be a poor man) that it is quite a rare thing to address a capitalist, and especially when that capitalist is the representative, say of twenty-five millions of dollars. Such, at least, was our experience at our first interview with William B. Astor.

Mr. Astor occupies an imposing mansion in Lafayette Place, and immediately adjoining is the magnificent library to which we have referred, and which should commemorate the name of the son as well as that of the father. At this house he spends that small portion of his time which is not occupied by his duties in Prince street, where he does a full day's work (Sundays excepted) every day in the week. Thus the daily routine of the richest man in America is a walk to and from home, of a half-mile or so, and close attention to business.

The care of Mr. Astor's estate is a vast burden. His tenements of all grades number several hundreds, ranging from the dwelling at three hundred dollars per annum to the magnificent warehouse or hotel at thirty thousand dollars. To relieve himself from the more vexatious features of his business, he has committed his real estate collections to an agent who does the work well, and who is, no doubt, largely paid. He, with his clerks, collects rents, and makes returns of a rent-roll, whose very recital would be wearisome. As a matter of course, such a man must employ a small army of painters, carpenters, and other mechanics, in order to keep up suitable repairs. As Mr. Astor pays no insurance, the work of rebuilding after fires is in itself a large item.

A large part of Mr. Astor's property consists of vacant lots, which are in continual demand, and which he generally prefers to hold rather than sell; hence he is much employed with architects and master-builders, and always has several blocks in course of erection. This is a very heavy burden, and were it not for the help derived from his family, would, we believe, crush him. However, his son, John Jacob, is quite a business man, and bears his share of the load. This young gentleman has shown his patriotism by serving in the army for the Union, in which he bears an important commission. In addition to this, Mr. Astor has the aid of a gentleman of business character and habits, once a member of one of the largest shipping houses in the city, who has become connected with the family by marriage. The labors of all these parties would not be more than adequate to the task of collecting interest on bonds, looking after dividends, etc., since that little fire-proof office in Prince street contains several millions of Government and State securities.

In order to give something like an estimate of the immense income rolling in upon this family, we must commence with the fact that two dollars per day is considered fair wages for working men; that the man who makes five dollars per day all the year round may be considered very fortunate; that ten dollars per day is attained by that few who are more favored and gifted, and whose proportion to the mass is about one to a thousand. Starting from this estimate, we may be better prepared to rate Mr. Astor's position by comparing any of the above sums with six thousand dollars, which is said to be his daily income. Bless me! one can not but exclaim; here Crœsus himself might die with envy. Yet we reply, after a moment's pause, let no one envy the man of gold. It is said that when John Jacob Astor was once congratulated by a certain person for his wealth, he replied by pointing to his pile of bonds, and maps of property, at the same time in[Pg 217]quiring: 'Would you like to manage these matters for your board and clothes?' The man demurred to the idea. 'Sir,' continued the rich man, 'it is all that I get!' Hence, thinking on these things, we have never envied Mr. Astor, and would not bear the burden of his wealth for all its glory. It is not the possession but the use of money, which affords enjoyment, and this is a secret which the rich seldom learn. Alas! among the annals of moneyed men, how seldom do we meet a Stuart or a Lenox—men who have learned what Goldsmith calls 'the luxury of doing good.'

It is one of the peculiar misfortunes of the rich, to be subject to the attentions of parasites and flatterers, and hence they can not possess that same certainty of the value of friendship enjoyed by the poor. The latter of these classes know that when a kind act is done to them, it comes from a pure motive; the other seldom can be sure that it is not from selfish ends. To illustrate the idea which wealth suggests, as to the motive of friendly visitors, we may state that among Mr. Astor's class-mates in Columbia College was a young man who became a preacher. The students separated—the one to handle millions, and to touch the springs of the money-market, and become the colossus of wealth; the other to his flock, as a poor domestic missionary, whose history was indeed a 'shady side.' The latter struggled on through thick and thin, and never in all his privations thought of sending a begging-letter to his old class-mate. But being once upon a time in New-York, he yielded to the inclination to make him a visit. Mr. Astor received him courteously, and the two conversed on the scenes of their early days. As the pastor arose to depart, an idea struck the capitalist's heart, which we mention to his credit. 'Can I do any thing for you?' he inquired. He had, in fact, misconceived the object of the visit, and supposed that under the guise of a friendly call, lurked an inclination to beg, which fear of refusal had suppressed. The poor clergyman at once perceived the drift of the question. Nothing could have been farther from his mind, and blushing at the thought, he acknowledged the suggestion with an expression of gratitude, and retired.

Perhaps a view of the unrest of the human heart appears most terrible when contrasted with the almost fabulous heaps of surrounding wealth, and one is thus led to the conclusion arrived at by Goldsmith:

'Vain, very vain, my weary search to find
That bliss which only centres in the mind;
With secret course which no loud streams annoy,
Glides the smooth current of domestic joy;
Still to ourselves in every place consigned,
Our own felicity we make or find.'


[4] Undercurrents is not a romance, and although its author calls it a 'Romance of business,' it is a life-like presentation of the deep things of trade, a series of dramatic scenes, holding the mirror up to a terrible reality. The characters are no fictions; they exist, they labor, they suffer daily, and will continue to do so, go long as the present system obtains, Mr. Kimball boldly lays bare the secret disease, like a demonstrator of anatomy. He is the only author who has succeeded in this department of literature, and here he shows himself a master.

[5] Since writing the above, we have heard of that masterpiece of munificence, the gift of fifty thousand dollars to the Theological Seminary of Princeton by the Messrs. Stuart.

[6] Calling on Church lately, we found him finishing his Cotopaxi for Mr. Lenox. Price, six thousand dollars.


'When it once begins to thunder,
You will hear it all around!'
And we waited—till in wonder
Soon we heard the awful sound:
Crashing cannon, rifle-rattle,
Bowing many a traitor-head:
On, McClellan, with the battle!
Strike the Typhon-serpent dead!
[Pg 218]


'Do but grasp into the thick of human life! Every one lives it—to not many is it known; and seize it where you will, it is interesting.'—Goethe.

'Successful.—Terminating in accomplishing what is wished or intended.'—Webster's Dictionary.



You will find, as you travel through the country, but few very poor people in New-England. Rarely are the 'selectmen' called to act either on applications for admission as one of the 'town's poor,' or to 'bind out' a boy or girl till one-and-twenty.

One evening—it was the close of a cold, raw day in the latter part of November—the stage deposited a woman, and a lad perhaps twelve years old, at the village tavern in Sudbury. She was intending to ride all night; indeed, she had paid her 'fare' through to New-Haven, but, seized with sudden illness, she was compelled to stop. Her malady proved to be typhus fever. The doctor was summoned, who subjected his patient to the terrific treatment then in vogue for that disorder, and in due course she died. It turned out on inquiry, that the woman, whose name was Burns, was on her way to a married sister's in Pennsylvania; further, that she was a widow, the lad her only child, and the sister in Pennsylvania the only near relation she had in the world. This sister was by no means in affluent circumstances, but she could offer a home to 'Sarah,' which the latter was glad to accept. After disposing of the trifling articles unsuitable to carry with her, she had barely money enough to defray the expenses of herself and 'Joel' to their new abode. The poor woman's journey was interrupted, as we have explained, at Sudbury, and a new direction given to it. She departed for 'the undiscovered country,' leaving little Joel to cry himself asleep; for the time quite heart-broken, and desolate enough.

There was not time to write to the married sister; so the selectmen, after ascertaining what money still remained in the purse of the deceased, undertook the burial. They ordered a cheap pine coffin, scantily 'stained.' It cost but a quarter of a dollar to dig the grave, and old Sally agreed to 'lay the woman out' for the comfortable dress she wore on arriving at the inn. Of the three selectmen of Sudbury, two were from the east part of the town—thrifty, hard-working farmers; the third was a Mr. Bellows, a popular store-keeper of the village. The latter had not interfered with the action of his colleagues, because he himself was very busy, and they, having very little to do at that season, were pleased with the excitement the affair afforded them. But passing the inn the morning Mrs. Burns was to be buried, Mr. Bellows stepped in a moment at the request of the landlord, who was a kind-hearted fellow, and did not feel quite satisfied with the arrangements. Ascending to the chamber, he saw a sad but handsome-looking boy standing over a rudely constructed coffin, a picture of sorrow and despair. The little fellow had witnessed the action of the coarse-hearted men who took the direction of the funeral. He heard their private discussion as to the 'cost of burying the woman.' He was a witness to their haggling with Aunt Sally about laying her out. He could hear various propositions as to what was to be done with him. He saw his mother hurriedly draped for the coffin and placed inside of it. He did not sob nor cry; a dreadful reality had so overcome him, that he lost the power of doing either. Once or twice, when every body had left the room, he had stolen softly up and kissed the face of the corpse, and some tears would then roll down his cheeks. It was at such a time that Mr. Bellows entered, and his heart smote[Pg 219] him that he had not sooner looked in. He spoke kindly to Joel, which seemed to loose the flood-gates of his grief, and for a time he continued to cry in the most piteous manner. Mr. Bellows soon decided what to do. His own family was small; he had a wife and one child—a little girl nine years old. He took Joel in his lap, told him not to cry—that he should go home with him, and be his boy. The tone in which this was uttered had more effect to soothe the lad than what was said to him. After a few minutes, Joel was persuaded to leave the room and to accompany his new friend to the house. Mr. Bellows then called on his minister, and requested him to perform the funeral rites at the grave; for so little interest had been shown in the fate of the strange woman, that her illness had not even been communicated to the clergyman, and the selectmen did not think it 'worth while to have any funeral'! Mr. Bellows hurried hack to the inn. The coffin was placed in a wagon. It was followed by the clergyman and Mr. Bellows, the two other selectmen, the landlord of the inn, and his wife. The burying-ground was soon reached, a short prayer made, and the company dispersed, leaving the man to fill up the grave according to contract. Mr. Bellows and his two associates returned to the tavern together, in order, as the latter expressed it, to settle up the business. Going into the sitting-room, and taking seats around a small table, one of them opened the subject in a serious and important tone, indicative of the weight of responsibility he felt was resting on his shoulders, by asking what was to be done with the boy.

'What do you think best to do with him?' said Mr. Bellows.

'Well, I suppose there is room in the town-house. There is nobody there now but Aunt Lois and foolish Tom, and we can probably bind him out next spring.'

'I don't think we have a right to charge the town with the expense,' said selectman number two. 'We know where the boy came from; the best way is to send him back to Granby.'

'He has got an aunt,' said the other; 'hadn't we better write to her?'

'Gentlemen,' said Mr. Bellows, 'I will cut this matter short. I will take the lad myself. You shall bind him out to me in the regular way. I do not think you need fear any interference from the town of Granby. As to his aunt, I propose first to write and get her consent. If she prefers to take the boy, why, she will send for him.'

This question disposed of, the spokesman next proposed to go into the accounts; which meant his own and his neighbor's charge for time and personal expenses twice from East-Sudbury with horse and wagon. They thought six dollars about right.

'How do you propose to be paid?' quoth Mr. Bellows.

'Twenty dollars and seventy-two cents was in their possession, taken from the pocket of the woman after she died.'

'And how did you dare interfere with property of any kind,' exclaimed Mr. Bellows, his smothered indignation bursting forth, 'without consulting with me? Don't you know the landlord has the first claim on every thing till his bill is paid? Don't you know, too, you are simply doing the town business, and if you have any claim, the town must pay you for it?'

Well, that is so, I guess,' said the third. 'It is agin the town. I'll take my chances, for one—had rather settle it that way, any how.'

The result of the conference was, that the whole business, including the twenty dollars and seventy-two cents, was handed over to Mr. Bellows, leaving his colleagues to make out and collect their bill at leisure. Joel's aunt was written to, and freely gave her consent that the boy should go with his new friend. The latter promptly paid the bill at the inn, and the doctor for his services, and soon after paid his colleagues what they claimed, lest it might in the future be a subject of comment when Joel grew up.

He was a good man, this Mr. Bellows;[Pg 220] not specially refined in manner, but possessing a delicacy of character and a lively sensibility which placed him among the ranks of nature's noblemen. He had been fortunate in business, and owned the principal store in the place, where he exercised a decided influence.

Little Joel gave promise of not disappointing his patron's expectations. In fact, he was a child of most engaging manners. His features were not regular, nor indeed handsome; but he had bright black eyes, a fine complexion, and an open, ingenuous countenance. He was treated by Mr. Bellows as considerately as if he were his own son. To be sure, Joel had some unpleasant scenes to pass through. As nothing is ever lost sight of in a small country village, the story of how he came to be living with Mr. Bellows was not forgotten. At school, occasionally, one of the boys would, on some slight provocation, point at him and call him 'Bellows's nigger,' or make faces and cry 'charity boy,' 'town's poor.' Now, fortunately, Joel had a happy, joyous nature—somewhat fiery and irascible, but still joyous—else he might have become morbidly miserable. As it was, these manifestations only provoked his anger, and led him forthwith into a rough-and-tumble fight, in which, whether victor or not, he always showed unquestionable pluck. If he came off second-best a dozen times, he went confidently into the thirteenth trial, brave as Bruce, and equally successful. At length the voice of gossip was hushed. Joel became the most popular lad in the village. Every body liked him, and what is better, he deserved it.

But the evil days came at last to good Mr. Bellows—came after years of happy, moderate, unclouded prosperity. First his wife died. This was when Joel was twenty years old, and Ellen Bellows seventeen. The illness was short, and the daughter was summoned from boarding-school in time only to attend her mother's funeral. Mr. Bellows, after that, as every body said, was an altered man. He could not bring his mind to business. Some people thought at times he acted strangely, by which they meant he was a little out of his head. Still, his affairs could not suffer while such a young man as Joel Burns was about. The fact is, in some things matters were even better managed than before. But great mistakes were made in the purchase of goods, which Mr. Bellows continued to attend to, and which Joel had too much respect for his benefactor to criticise. The succeeding year, speculation in wool ran high. Mr. Bellows was anxious to go into it. Joel took the freedom of begging him not to do so. The latter appeared to be persuaded; but he did what was worse than engaging actively in purchases, for then he would have had Joel's tact and energy to aid him. He lent his name to an acquaintance, for a very large amount, who was to go extensively into the scheme with him and divide the profits. The result was disastrous. Wool fell rapidly. An attempt was made to borrow money on it and hold it over to the next season—worse and worse; Mr. Bellows was ruined.

One morning, very early, several attachments were levied on his goods, and the store was shut up. One of the officers next proceeded to the house and took possession there, so that Mr. Bellows was now tied hand and foot.

I suppose few of my readers can appreciate what it is for a man to 'fail up' in the country. In our large cities, it is regarded, to be sure, as a misfortune, but one to which every merchant is exposed; and the usual course is to propose a compromise, obtain a release, and set cheerfully to work again, with loss of property, doubtless, but not with any damage to reputation. But in the country, failure is regarded as a disgrace, and a 'failed man' is looked and pointed at something as a felon would be.

When Joel Burns awoke in the morning and found every thing in the hands of the sheriff, he was astounded, for Mr. Bellows had not told him a word about his last year's operations. He perceived the amounts were larger than could ever be realized. He took in the whole situ[Pg 221]ation at a glance. He hastened to consult with Mr. Bellows, but he was listened to with entire apathy. The merchant would say but little, and that was so incoherent and unintelligible, it was evident he was laboring under mental aberration. He continued moody through the day, and the next morning was found dead in his bed. He had severed an artery.

At this time Joel was in his twenty-second year. Already displaying extraordinary capacity in affairs, this event served to call out all his resources.

I ought to have mentioned, before this, what every body will guess, that Joel was desperately in love with Ellen Bellows, without, however, giving her the least reason to believe so, beyond that silent, unobtrusive devotion which girls, after all, are not very apt to mistake. Joel felt that in his situation he had no right to attempt to win Ellen's affection; but he unconsciously took the very best way to win it. In his intercourse with her he was reserved, almost formal, and, I may say, apparently indifferent. Ellen, when she came home from school to spend her vacations, used to feel a good deal piqued that Joel was not more demonstrative in his welcome. I can not believe she did not comprehend pretty well how Joel really felt; but his manner annoyed her, nevertheless. For example, he would frequently step aside and permit another to wait on Miss Bellows, when Miss Bellows would much prefer Joel had not been so accommodating. In fact, she was vexed with him half the time for what she called his stupidity, and half the time tantalized by his 'studious reserve.' Meanwhile, Joel pursued his career of self-martyrdom, honest and true-hearted.

Now the scene had changed, and Joel was no longer the diffident youth, but a man, competent and energetic. He took the direction of every thing; nothing was overlooked. Of course the relatives were sent for. It was the old story: they had paid great respect to their rich cousin, but they did not seem to care much for the memory of the broken-down insolvent.

The day of the funeral arrived—a dreary November day. It was just eleven years from the day Joel's mother was buried and he himself taken to the house of Mr. Bellows. Joel did not forget it, and it gave additional strength to carry out what devolved on him. There was a very large attendance at the house. The circumstances of the failure and subsequent suicide, the situation of the only daughter, and the many petty incidents which were now the town talk, excited the curiosity of the good people, and there was an opportunity to gratify it by attending the funeral. They wanted to see how the corpse would look. They were crazy to know how Ellen Bellows would appear, and what Joel Burns would do. So the house was thronged. After all, there was not much to satisfy their curiosity. The corpse was not exposed; Ellen Bellows, contrary to all custom in New-England, remained in her chamber, for which, as you may believe, she was pretty thoroughly picked to pieces; and Joel Burns sat quietly, with sad but tranquil countenance, among the mourners.

The next day Joel called Ellen aside and asked her whether she was not going home with her aunt.

'Am I not to stay here?' she said.

Joel could not explain to her just then the absolute ruin which stared her in the face. He simply answered: 'No, Ellen, you must go away for a few weeks. There is much to do, and for a time you had better be absent.'

'Very well, Joel, if you advise it. I have nobody else to advise me,' and she burst into tears.

Joel remained calm. He had previously made up his mind just what to do, and he brought all the energy of his nature to sustain him. His composed air helped to restore Ellen—she tried to be as calm as he.

'But aunt, since she came, has not invited me return with her,' she said.

'Oh! but she will, I am sure,' replied Joel, and he went out rather abruptly;[Pg 222] for here was an obstacle to his plan which did not occur to him before. He proceeded at once to the aunt, and found her preparing to leave that afternoon.

'You will take Ellen with you, I suppose?' he said.

'I am sure I had not thought of doing it. You know all the children are home, and really we have no room at present.'

Two weeks previous she had written a pressing invitation to Ellen to come at this particular time. Joel bluntly reminded her of it.

'Yes, but circumstances alter cases. The fact is, I can't afford to maintain the girl, and I don't think I had better begin; and that's the English of it, Joel, if you force me to say so. You know very well there won't be a cent left.'

'I think I know more about that than you do,' replied Joel, with an air which would have done credit to a diplomat, 'and, I assure you, Ellen will not be left penniless; and if you will insist on her going with you for a short time—mind, I say insist—I promise before long to make certain disclosures which will satisfy you as to my assertion. But she must not be here while they are settling up. You understand.'

The old lady did not understand, but Joel carried his point by the aid of the mystery with which he surrounded it. It put her on her good behavior at once, lest she should lose the promised revelation. She spoke even affectionately to Ellen, and declared she should not let her remain in the house alone, but she must go home with her.

Before the two left Sudbury, Joel had a very long interview with Ellen. What passed at that interview never transpired, but the young girl's countenance, though very sad, did not wear the desolate and despairing expression which it exhibited before.

The stage now drew up, the ladies got in, and it rolled away, leaving Joel and the deputy-sheriffs the sole possessors of the premises.


A few miles to the north-east of Sudbury the country, at the time I speak of it, had a wild and forbidding appearance. This was partly owing to the immense forest which stretched along a continuous ridge of land covering both sides of it and the plain below. On one side of this ridge the face of the country was very rough; on the other side, through a fine intervale, flowed a stream of respectable size called Pine Creek, which took its rise in the mountains at some distance, and was fed by innumerable springs and rivulets from the surrounding hills. Nearly a thousand acres of these lands were owned by an old merchant in New-York, who had taken them for debt many years before, and had become, as he said, tired of paying taxes on them.

Joel had had his eye on the property for two or three years. What his views were, we shall presently see, for no sooner did Miss Bellows quit Sudbury with her aunt, than Joel, after remarking to the sheriff that he did not propose to interfere with him in any way, proceeded to pack his trunks, which he removed to the inn. Then he hired a horse and wagon for a week, and set off no one knew whither. He came back within the time limited, and found a committee of creditors awaiting his return. They wanted to engage him to sell out the stock of goods and to close up Mr. Bellows' affairs. Joel declined the service, although the offers were liberal and coupled with the intimation that it would be the means of starting him in business as the successor of Mr. Bellows. Joel resolutely declined. He knew the estate was hopelessly insolvent, and that he could not be of the least service to Ellen by any labors he should undertake; and besides, he did not care to even appear to thrive out of the broken fortunes of his patron. When still pressed by the now perplexed creditors, he turned sharply on them and said: 'Gentlemen, don't you think it would have been more judicious, not to say more humane, had you waited on Mr. Bellows in his lifetime, and requested him to undertake this service instead[Pg 223] of pouncing on his property, closing his store, and hurrying him into his grave? He was an honest man, and would have worked honestly for your benefit, and I would have aided him. As it is, I do not feel disposed to lift a finger for you. Good morning.'

Joel left the same day for New-York, and did not again return to Sudbury. Some weeks afterward, in mid-winter, the report was circulated that he was living in the woods on Pine Creek. Then the story went abroad that the poor fellow was crazy and had turned hermit. This was followed by other rumors still more ridiculous.

I have no desire to alarm the reader on Joel's account. It is time, therefore, I should say that he had formed extensive plans for the future, which he was proceeding to carry out. During his week's absence he went carefully over the entire tract owned by the old merchant in New-York. This lay on both sides of the creek, and extended to the eastward quite over the 'ridge.' It was well timbered and beautifully situated. After making these observations, Joel proceeded to New-York and called on the proprietor. He stated his object to be to purchase a hundred acres of the tract, for which he would pay five dollars an acre cash. He wanted, besides, the refusal of the rest of the property, for a certain time, at the same rate. The old merchant was pleased with Joel's ingenuous manner as well as with his intelligence. He questioned him minutely about the lands, for he had never seen them, and asked him what he proposed to do with his purchase. Joel answered promptly and truthfully. He put the owner in possession of every material fact.

'And all you will give is five dollars per acre?'


'Do you think that is all the lands are really worth?'

'I hope to make them worth much more to me, else I would not seek to buy,' responded Joel. 'What they are worth to you, is for you to judge after what I have said about them.'

Thereupon the old gentleman told Joel he would do better by him than he asked. He would sell him the whole, receive the five hundred dollars, and take back a mortgage for the balance. Joel would not accept this proposition. He wanted one hundred acres, and he wanted to pay for them, and the money was ready at five dollars the acre, and he desired the refusal of the balance at the same rate. The bargain was closed in this way, and Joel went on to his own property rejoicing. The plot selected by him was from that portion nearest to the road, which here was about a mile distant, and at a point of the stream most favorable for the erection of a saw-mill. This hundred acres Joel had had carefully surveyed before he went to New-York. It embraced a portion of the 'ridge,' with a front on the stream. The old village was miserably situated, on the ancient principle of putting it in the centre of the township, and a new road had been talked of for some time, which would shorten the communication between two important points, and leave it to one side. This was also known to Joel, and it led him to greater energy in trying to secure the property. But he did not omit to mention this circumstance in his interview with the proprietor, though, if the truth be told, he was tempted to keep silent. Joel Burns had a fine moral sense, to violate which, gave him pain. Without going through any argument on the subject, he felt that it would amount to a deception if he withheld the information.

At the time of Mr. Bellows' death Joel was worth about twelve hundred dollars. His benefactor had not only paid him a full salary, but, besides this, perceiving that Joel displayed an aptitude for business, Mr. Bellows allowed him privileges by which he was able to make some money on his own account. The result was, he had accumulated the sum I have mentioned, from which had now been disbursed[Pg 224] five hundred dollars for the land purchase.

Through the winter Joel was very busy. He hired four stout, active lumber-men, built a rude log-hut, which was comfortable enough inside, and all set to work first to cut a road to the highway. Then they commenced clearing. The timber was magnificent first-growth pine. It cut up splendidly. The lumber-men now saw what Hiram was driving at. They began to respect the young fellow who looked so much like a boy, yet who showed such pluck, nerve, and sagacity. After a while, in a pleasant position on the ridge could be seen a very neat log-house in progress of erection. It contained four rooms—a spacious edifice for the woods—all of course on the ground floor, for there was no second story. Great attention was paid in a rude way to the interior, and by spring it was finished.

During the winter Joel was twice absent from the 'settlement' for two or three days. He was making a visit to—- Ellen's aunt. That worthy woman had only been half-persuaded when she invited her niece home. Very soon, she began to think she had made a mistake in 'harboring' her, especially as the news spread abroad that Bellows' estate was a very great deal worse than nothing. To be sure Joel's presence reässured her, he looked so competent, and spoke so confidently yet still so mysteriously. On his second visit, however, the lady pretty flatly intimated she was losing confidence in his assertions. She did not believe her brother had left Ellen a cent in any shape.

'And I tell you what it is, Joel Burns, you need not think we are going to support her. She must earn her living like other folks.'

'I will be responsible for Ellen's board,' said Joel indignantly. 'I would have said that before, but I should feel mortified to have her know I had made the offer, or you had accepted it.'

'You need not mount your high horse with me, Joel,' retorted the other, but in a mollified tone. 'You know I am just as kind to Ellen as any body would be under the circumstances.'

'As kind as Mr. Bellows would have been to Tilly and Eliza, had they been left orphans, I suppose,' interrupted the still indignant Joel.

'Yes, to be sure. You don't imagine I should have expected him to take care of my children!'

'But he would have done it though.'

'Well that may or may not be—he is dead and gone, poor man, and I have done my best to make it pleasant for Ellen, and she will tell you so. We have got along very well; I like her and her cousins like her, and I am satisfied after what you have said.'

By the middle of April, the people of Sudbury had made up their minds that Joel Burns was neither crazy nor exactly a hermit, nor yet a fool, though some candidly admitted they had been fools when they so judged of him. For by the middle of April a saw-mill with a double set of saws had been put in operation, and was turning out the lumber rapidly. Quickly the knowing ones saw into it, (but they did not see into it till Joel had made his demonstration,) and now wondered why they had overlooked the speculation. One very keen fellow determined to make the most out of Joel's beginning. He examined the records at the office of the register of deeds and discovered that Joel had title to but a hundred acres. Thereupon he went to New-York with the object of purchasing the adjacent lands. Imagine his chagrin, when he was told Joel had the refusal of the whole tract. With a low cunning he endeavored to make the old merchant dissatisfied with the sale, by telling him that he had parted with his property for a quarter of its value—in fact, had given it away. He would have offered twice the money himself.

'I am glad to hear you say so,' was the only reply the fellow received, 'for I take a great interest in that young man. So he has got his mill a-going, has he? Good.'

'But if I should offer you ten dollars an acre for the next hundred-acre-lot,[Pg 225] don't you think you could manage to let me have it?'


What an excitement there was when our smart man returned and gave an account of his trip. Then followed all sorts of rumors. Joel was in partnership with a rich old fellow in 'York,' who was going to let him have all the money he wanted. There was to be a new village right away, situated somewhere—on the ridge—on the stream—across the creek—on the plain—under the hill. What wouldn't the speculators give to know just where! With the erection of the saw-mill, several little huts went up near it for the use of those employed there. These huts were not made of logs—there was plenty of lumber now—but cheaply constructed and clap-boarded with slabs. Some of the Sudbury wits derisively called the place 'Slab City.' The lumber-men seemed to like this name, for they at once adopted it, and it has never been known by any other.

But before this, a remarkable event occurred, affording still greater food for town-talk and gossip generally. The neat log-house on the ridge had been comfortably furnished, and Ellen Bellows—now Ellen Burns—installed as its mistress.

On his third visit the mystery was solved in a manner quite satisfactory to the aunt. To do that lady justice, we must say she was not half so selfish nor so calculating as she might have been. It is true she had not generosity enough to run the risk of offering Ellen a home as long as she might require one, whatever should happen. But she was tolerably kind to her, and when she heard that a wedding was to be speedily improvised, she entered into it heart and soul, and made every thing pass pleasantly, yes, happily. Furthermore, I am bound to record that she refused to take one penny for Ellen's 'board,' although Joel pressed her to do so.

'Do you think I am an old hunks, Joel, because I did not feel able to undertake Ellen's support? Prudent I try to be, it is my duty. Haven't I my own children to look after? but because I am prudent and do my duty, can't I show some kindness to my poor brother's only child? Don't talk to me about 'board,' and, Joel, don't say any thing to Ellen about our previous conversation. You know I have always been perfectly satisfied with every thing you told me.'

Joel felt too happy then to question the fact, if indeed, it could be questioned. He reässured the good woman on that head, and added he should in due time expect visits from Tilly and Eliza.

'They will be delighted to go, and what is more Mr. Barron (her husband) has been thinking a good deal of leaving here, and I should not be surprised if he paid you a visit one of these days to see what chances offer, for we have all heard how smart you have been.'

It is essential I should explain to the reader why Joel Burns, who was ingenuous and truthful, and by no means fond of mystery or concealment, should make use of both in his intercourse with Ellen's aunt. We have previously stated how desperately he was in love with Ellen, and further how hard he tried to make himself believe his affection could never be reciprocated. When, however, the day of trial came suddenly on her, all the nonsense was scattered from Joel's brain like mist before the wind. But the romance in his heart was not dissipated, because romance is not nonsense. Genuine romance is a real element in our natures, and so long as we preserve it, we are young. When Joel found himself placed in the position of Ellen's sole protector, he took prompt and decisive steps for her protection. But while he hoped to win her for his wife, he could not endure the thought that possibly a part of his success might be due to the change in Ellen's fortunes, or that her choice should not be free and unrestrained. It was for this reason he mystified the aunt and procured for Ellen a cordial invitation to stay with her 'till the business matters were settled,' thus mystifying Ellen also. She, poor girl,[Pg 226] continued in happy ignorance of her absolutely destitute condition. She loved Joel dearly, and it was one of her happiest day-dreams to plan how she could aid him in his projects by putting him in possession of all she should have—yes, all.

The evening before the wedding, after Joel had given a full history of the progress of the 'settlement' and what he hoped to do in the future, Ellen, overcoming the timidity which had before prevented her speaking, exclaimed:

'O Joel! how much you have done—all alone, too! When you get what is coming to me, won't that help you? and you shall have the whole of it, dear Joel, every dollar!'

She stopped and blushed, half-frightened at her boldness. Tears came into Joel's eyes, he was so happy. He threw his arms around his beloved and pressed her to his heart.

People could now understand where the village was to be. The new road had been laid out and was in course of construction. It passed along the ridge near the centre. On computing the distances, it was found this point would be a convenient one for a stage-house, where passengers could pass the night. Joel sold to the stage company what lots they required, at a very low price, on condition that they would erect a first-rate public house. The water-power at 'Slab City,' three fourths of a mile distant, attracted attention. The 'fell' was large, and the supply of water abundant. One man started with a turning-machine, which was attached to the mill. Another, with more capital, established a fulling-mill, and so on. Joel avoided the ordinary errors of landholders. He did not attempt to carry on all sorts of business himself, neither did he hold his lots at too high prices. To actual settlers he sold very cheap; to speculators he would not sell at all. The old merchant continued his friend. By his recommendation a man with considerable capital visited the place, and being well pleased, purchased some of the water-power and built a large button-factory, Joel's views proved most judicious. By laying out the village on the ridge, he secured a beautiful site, which was relieved from a close proximity to shops and mills and factories, while it had really the support of all these. Several fine houses were now erected. Two stores were started, and a meeting-house built, for which Joel gave nearly all the lumber. Next a post-office was established, and the place called Burnsville. It was a beautiful spot, and how it grew and flourished! But Burnsville would have amounted to little had it not been for Slab City. Joel took care not to lose an opportunity for strengthening it. Water-power could always be had of him cheap. I forgot to say he erected a 'grist-mill,' which was much needed. Two other saw-mills beside his own were built a little way further up, but on his tract. Mr. Barron and family did move to Burnsville, as Mrs. B. intimated they might. He brought a good deal of money with him, and turned his enterprise to account. The families continued intimate. In ten years Burnsville became one of the most prosperous villages in the State. Joel Burns was a rich man, as well as the man of the place. These ten years had wrought no great changes in Joel's character or habits. To be sure he had become more engrossed in plans for future operations. By degrees he had narrowed his mind into the channel of successful effort. The circumference of his existence was probably more limited than when he brought his little wife into the pretty log-house on the ridge. (He now lived in the handsomest one in the village.) Still, he was more active, more perseveringly energetic, more effective than ever before. But the romance of which I spoke had faded, or was overshadowed, by the forms of active, busy, bustling life. Still Joel Burns was in the main the same ingenuous, honest-hearted fellow as ever. A happy man—happy in his home—happy because prosperous in his business—but by no means as happy as he might have been.[Pg 227] Regarding him in this view, it was melancholy to see him so utterly engrossed in his pursuits and plans. He did not take time to look about him and enjoy. The Sabbath to him was a dull, wearisome, restless day. He had too much respect for it to desecrate it by even a private attention to his affairs, and he had very little idea of any spiritual wants. He was active in erecting a church and securing a good preacher, on whose ministrations he attended regularly with his family. Yet it was a great relief to him when Sunday was over, and he welcomed the succeeding morning with a renewed zest.

Joel Burns became a very popular man; he was universally beloved; he was generous and public-spirited. He was unselfish in his ordinary dealings, and always ready to lend a helping hand to those about him. His success was not owing to a close, hard, grasping nature, but was the result of fine business abilities, coupled with extraordinary energy and perseverance.

Joel Burns was unjust to no one but himself. He neglected to cultivate his moral nature, and left it in danger of being choked by the cares he voluntarily assumed. He had one safeguard, however. I have observed that he was happy in his family. This consisted of his wife, and one child—a daughter named Sarah, after Joel's mother. When with them, Joel did forget his business life. His love for his wife and child was like a gushing fountain of pure water. It preserved his heart from becoming arid, and his nature from ossification.

Twelve years passed, and found Burnsville more nourishing than ever, and Joel Burns yet without any interruption to his fortunes or his happiness.

Late in summer, typhus fever—a dreadful visitor in this part of New-England—made its appearance, and became more prevalent than usual, and assumed a severer type. Mrs. Burns was among the first attacked, and with great severity.

Joel felt the foundations of his soul giving way when the possibility presented itself that his wife might die. He called to mind with a shudder the scene at the village tavern in Sudbury, when, a child, he stood by his mother's bedside and heard, awe-struck, her incoherent ravings while the delirium of fever was on her. 'O my God! she will die, she will die!' he exclaimed, as he rushed out of the room, unable to control his feelings.

The country was scoured for doctors. An eminent medical man from New-Haven was sent for. He was unable to come; but the house was filled with consulting physicians. Alas I they knew little in those days how to treat this terrible malady, or rather how to skillfully let it alone. Day after day, Joel paced up and down, now in this room, now in that, all over the house. At night he watched by his wife. He insisted on doing so; no argument or entreaty could prevail on him to leave her a moment. She was delirious nearly all the time. Then her voice would be strong, her eyes glassy bright, her cheeks flushed and burning. She recognized neither husband nor child.

It was in the middle of the night. The 'watcher' who sat up in company with Joel, slumbered in his chair. He did not slumber, but sat with eyes fixed on his wife, who for some time seemed to be resting easier than before. Presently her lips moved. Her husband bent over her.


'I am here, my darling.'


'Yes, dearest.'

'We have not lived right'

'No, dear.'

'You do not think we have lived right, do you?'

'No, oh! no.'

'I am going to die, Joel.'

'Do not speak in that way!' and the poor fellow groaned, in spite of every effort to control himself.

'I must, Joel, I must. We have not[Pg 228] lived right You will live right when I am gone. You will teach Sarah to live right, won't you?'

'I don't want to live at all if you do not live!' was the passionate answer.

'For our child's sake, Joel.'

No reply.

'What a kind, loving husband you have been to me—been to me always! I loved you—loved you before you knew it, Joel.' Here she opened her eyes languidly, and essayed to turn them on him. 'But we have not lived right.'

There was still no response, save by audible sobs.

'I think I have made my peace with God. Are you glad, Joel?'

'Now I don't care what happens, if you only feel happy!' he cried. 'But to have you die in distress of mind! It would drive me crazy.'

'Give God the praise, Joel. I am happy. It is so sweet to trust in Him! You won't neglect—neglect—you won't——' She fell into a stupor, from which she never fully awoke. Although she lived another day, she exhibited no signs of consciousness. Joel fancied that she was aware of his presence; but she never spoke again.

The funeral was attended by a large concourse of people—very different from that of Joel's mother, whom three selectmen followed to the grave. When it was over, Joel and his daughter went back to their desolate house, while the village set to work to speculate as to whom the widower would marry. 'Such a match! So rich, and only one child! Emily Parks would make him a good wife; only Emily was rather old—at least twenty-seven or eight—and Mr. Burns would marry a young girl, of course. Why shouldn't he, with the amount of money he had? He might take a fancy to Julia Davis—she had just left school.' 'Why shouldn't he marry Lizzie?' said Mrs. Barron to herself. And Lizzie was sent over that very day to 'see to things' for Mr. Burns.

His trials were not ended. Sarah, who was now in her twelfth year, was taken ill the following week. The fever was no doubt going through the family, said the doctors. Joel's faith in medical men was a good deal shaken, but he had to call them in, and Sarah grew worse. Three weeks she lay, submitting to the old treatment, waiting for the 'crisis.' Joel could endure it no longer. He started for New-Haven, changing horses every ten miles. He found the doctor he went in quest of at home; but he said it was impossible for him to go.

'I have lost my wife, and shall lose my child,' said Joel Burns hoarsely.

'My friend,' said the doctor in a mild tone, 'people are dying every where. I have my own patients, whom I ought not to neglect.'

'Go with me, I, implore you,' urged the despairing man; 'I have relays of horses, and I will drive ten miles an hour.' Joel's importunity prevailed. The distance was accomplished in a marvelously brief time.

It was a hot, sultry day, the second week of September, about noon, when Joel, accompanied by the doctor, entered the sick-room.

'How is Sarah?'

'No better,' whispered Miss Barron, who had remained in the house. 'The doctor left half an hour ago. He says he thinks she will go as her mother went.'

'I am awake, father!' (He had approached the bed very carefully, so as not to disturb her.) 'It seems a great while since you went away.'

'I have brought a doctor to cure you, my child,' said Joel. He knew the value of hope and confidence.

Meanwhile the physician was glancing around the room. As I have said, it was a close, sultry day; but the windows were all closed, so that not a breath of air could circulate through the apartment. The doctor quietly threw up every one of them. Perceiving a cot standing near, he ordered it made up with fresh sheets. Going to the bedside of his little patient: 'How do you feel, my child?' he asked.

'I don't know.'

'Bring me a bowl of water and a soft napkin.'[Pg 229]

'Warm water, I suppose?' said the nurse.

'Cold.' He threw off the heavy blanket from the bed, and unbuttoning the night-dress, which came close around her, he bathed the child's face and neck with the grateful fluid.

'You feel better now?'

'Yes,' she whispered.

'Don't you want any thing, my dear?'

'I want some water.'

'Give her water, nurse,' said the doctor.

The woman stared in utter amazement. If she had been ordered to cut the child's throat, she could not have been more astounded.

'I say, bring a tumbler of water.'

This was done, and the nurse offered the patient a few drops in a tea-spoon.

'Give me the glass,' and he took it out of her hand. Tenderly he raised the sick child to a comfortable position, and placed it to her lips. 'Take as much as you like, my dear. Water was made to drink.'

He now directed a complete and speedy change of garments, and then he himself took Sarah in his arms and laid her on the other bed. In fifteen minutes, she was sleeping, while a gentle perspiration showed the crisis had passed. Joel Burns stood still, regarding the doctor as he would a being from another world. When he saw him doing just what was invariably prohibited, doing it with such an air of decision and self-confidence yet with no peculiar ostentation, he felt it would all be right. The nurse, at first, was in very bad humor; but nobody noticed her, so she concluded it was best to be good-natured and obey orders. The next day, the doctor pronounced little Sarah out of danger, provided she was properly nursed, and after leaving special directions, which he charged Joel to see to personally till he could hear from him, he returned home as rapidly as he came. When the man who accompanied him came back, he brought the doctor's favorite student, who had directions to devote himself to the 'case,' in which the doctor took so strong an interest. The good man had another motive. He believed the fever was about to attack Joel, and he determined to exert his skill to save him, if possible. To have advised him of his fears, would have been injudicious. He therefore dispatched a young man in whom he had great confidence, after giving him minute instructions. Little Sarah, watched and tended with great care, grew rapidly better. But when the excitement produced by the scenes through which Joel had passed was at an end, a great reaction took place, which left him in a very weak state. In that condition, he was seized by the terrible malady, which found a fit subject in his weakened frame and broken spirits. For weeks Joel Burns lay balancing between life and death. It seemed as if a feather's weight on either side would turn the scale. Morning after morning, the question was put by the whole village: 'Is Mr. Burns alive?' Twice, on occasions which seemed specially urgent, did our worthy doctor come from New-Haven, spend a few hours, and return. The medical student kept his post manfully. It was something to go counter to the opinions and judgments of all the physicians about, far and near. Especially when, if the patient should die, the voice of authority would proclaim that a murder had been committed. [Now, it would be considered murder to follow the old method.] But the doctor was firm, his pupil an enthusiastic believer in his master's genius, and the course was persisted in. At length, the daily reports were modified. First, Mr. Burns was 'no worse.' After that, he was 'a little more comfortable.' Then came the announcement that he was 'better.' The medical men round about were excessively chagrined; but every body else rejoiced at the good news.

All this time, what of Joel Burns? How did he do? Not what was the history of his physical malady. But what was his state morally, mentally, religiously before God! Recollect, the man had never had a check in his whole ca[Pg 230]reer before. The circumstances of his childhood served rather to give strength and firmness to his nature. The sudden failure and death of his benefactor only threw him the more on his own resources, with which he was amply provided. His plans had been successful. His friends were many. His hopes for the future were large, yet not unreasonable; while on all sides, as we have said, he was regarded as the man of the community in which he lived.

Joel had scarcely time for reflection, after the death of his wife, before his child was taken ill, and ere she was really out of danger, he himself was stricken down. All that long, weary time, during days and nights of fever and delirium, of exhaustion and weakness, of convalescence and recovery, the whisper of his dying wife was constantly heard:

'Joel, we have not lived right! Do you think we have lived right, Joel?'

'Lived right!' What did that mean? Was Joel Burns a dishonest man? Was he not kind-hearted, generous, loving toward his wife, affectionate to his child, charitable and public-spirited?

'Lived right.' Joel had answered his wife instantly, not daring then and there to soothe her by equivocation, but replying truthfully out of his soul: 'No, oh! no.' What did he mean by that? Of what did he stand convicted, and wherefore? These were the thoughts which occupied his mind, especially after the fever had left him, during the long weeks of his recovery. Joel was a man of extraordinary perceptive faculties. The situation in which he had been placed, the remarkable health which he had enjoyed, (for he had never been ill in his life,) and the success which had attended every plan and effort, served to still more develop all his practical talents, and were at the same time unfavorable to reflection or serious thought. Now he could do nothing else but reflect and think. He looked about him. His wife was gone, and his happiness wrecked. What was he to do? Should he make haste to push on the schemes which his sickness had brought to a stand? The idea was loathsome to him. He had seen how completely they were liable to interruption and blight. The thought of his daughter was the only comfort left, but she might be taken—then what?

Ah! Joel Burns! how long and wide you searched to answer that question when the answer was so near at hand and so easy to discover. He did discover it at last. His wife, with her latest breath, had given him the clue. He examined himself more carefully. What are the relations between me and my Maker? Do I recognize any?... When Joel Burns rose from his sick-bed and could walk abroad, all things wore to him a new and pleased aspect. The current of his hopes were changed. He no longer revolved around himself as a centre. He was conscious of his error before God, and sought and found 'peace in believing.' He now regarded all things in the light of His providence and felt submissive to His will.

Joel was no longer indifferent to his affairs. There was so much he could do to benefit every body. What a happy feeling to try to be working out good for some body all the time! When, however, he was able actively to engage in business, there was very little difference between his course of action and in what he did and his old course and what he used to do. The fact is, Joel did about what was right before. We have already related that he was kind, charitable, generous, and public-spirited. The difference, however, was, that Joel himself was changed. The springs of life and conduct were new: this is why he seemed to himself to be living so differently. And he was living differently. There was no similitude between the Joel Burns who, impelled by an active brain and an energetic purpose, was successfully prosecuting certain plans with reference solely to those plans, and the Joel Burns who had learned to feel that the chief object of existence lay above and beyond, and was centred in the Omnipotent.[Pg 231]

Sarah recovered rapidly from the fever, and before her father was himself convalescent the bloom of health had returned to her cheeks. Joel's love for his child was increased ten-fold. She became, as she grew up, an inseparable companion. It was evident he had no thoughts of marrying. The people of the village decided that at the end of a year. The widower gave none of the ordinary tokens that he was seeking a new wife, that is, he did not 'brush up' any, and took no special pains with his personal appearance, but went about much as usual. It was a great pity, every body said, for a man as young as he—hardly three-and-thirty—to live without a wife. Sarah required a motherly care over her, her father was spoiling her. Yes, it was a great pity Mr. Burns did not marry. The fact was, strange as it will seem, Joel could not forget his wife, though she was dead. A sweet and solemn link bound him to her since the night he stood over her to catch her last words, and it would appear his affections were not to be diverted from her memory. He did not send Sarah away to school. He could not reconcile himself to her absence, but he supplied her abundantly with teachers, and personally took great pains with her education.

Two years after the death of Mrs. Burns, Joel and his daughter stood up together before the assembled church and congregation, and made a public profession of religion. It was a touching sight. And when after the services father and child took their way homeward, every eye followed them with looks of deepest interest and with feelings of almost universal kindness and regard. Joel had delayed presenting himself from a desire to test his feelings, having great fear of bringing reproach on the church by entering it unworthily. And now he had an increased joy that he could bring his darling into the fold with him.

It was very natural, as she was situated, that Sarah should acquire an accurate knowledge of her father's affairs. She enjoyed listening to the story of his early life, the rise and progress of Burnsville, with explanations of his many undertakings. As she grew older, this interest took a more practical turn. She would copy letters and arrange confidential papers, and perform various services of a like nature.

Two or three years more passed. Things went on as usual, at Burnsville. It is true that Joel Burns did not display that sharp faculty of acquisition which he formerly did, though he was never more active or energetic; but it was noticeable that those in his employ got on better than before, while the general prosperity of the village exceeded that of any former period.

Sarah was almost a young lady. She was growing up a beautiful girl. She had her father's brilliant complexion and her mother's fine form and regular features. Of course, with so much youth and beauty, and such 'brilliant prospects,' (by which, I suppose, was meant her father's death and a large fortune to the child,) Sarah already became an object of much attention. I will not say that her peculiar position did not produce something of an independent manner which some called hauteur, and others exclusiveness. Part of this was owing to her education, part to the necessity of repelling sometimes the advances of conceited coxcombs. But she was really a most interesting girl, with much of her father's spirit, resolution, and ability. Her affection for him was only exceeded by his for her. True, their lives were centred in each other too much. But it was very beautiful to behold.

Such was the condition of Burnsville, and such the situation of Joel Burns, when Hiram Meeker sought to remove to that place and enter his service.[Pg 232]


'All of which I saw, and part of which I was.'


It is a dingy old sign. It has hung there in sun and rain till its letters are faint and its face is furrowed. It has looked down on a generation that has passed away, and seen those who placed it there go out of that doorway never to return; still it clings to that dingy old warehouse, and still Russell, Rollins & Co. is signed in that dingy old counting-room at the head of the stairway. It is known the world over. It is heard of on the cotton-fields of Texas, in the cane-brakes of Cuba, and amid the rice-swamps of Carolina. The Chinaman speaks of it as he sips his tea and handles his chop-sticks in the streets of Canton, and the half-naked negro rattles its gold as he gathers palm-oil and the copal-gum on the western coast of Africa. Its plain initials, painted in black on a white ground, float from tall masts over many seas, and its simple 'promise to pay,' scrawled in a bad hand on a narrow strip of paper, unlocks the vaults of the best bankers in Europe. And yet, it is a dingy old sign! Men look up to it as they pass by, and wonder that a cracked, weather-beaten board that would not sell for a dollar, should be counted 'good for a million.'

It is a dingy old warehouse, with narrow, dark, cobwebbed windows, and wide, rusty iron shutters, which, as the bleak November wind sweeps up old Long Wharf, swing slowly on their hinges with a sharp, grating creak. I heard them in my boyhood. Perched on a tall stool at that old desk, I used to listen, in the long winter-nights, to those strange, wild cries, till I fancied they were voices of the uneasy dead, come back to take the vacant seats beside me, and to pace again, with ghostly tread, the floor of that dark old counting-room. They were ever a mystery and a terror to me; but they never creaked so harshly, or cried so wildly, as on a bleak November night, not many years ago, when I turned my steps, for the last time, up the trembling old stairway.

It was just after nightfall. A single gas-burner threw a dim, uncertain light over the old desk, and lit up the figure of a tall, gray-headed man, who was bending over it. He had round, stooping shoulders, and long, spindling limbs. One of his large feet, encased in a thick, square-toed shoe, rested on the round of the desk, the other, which was planted squarely on the floor, upheld his spare, gaunt frame. His face was thin and long, and two deep, black lines under his eyes contrasted strangely with the pallid whiteness of his features. His clothes were of the fashion of some years ago, and had, no doubt, served long as his 'Sunday best,' before being degraded to daily duty. They were of plain black, and though not shabby, were worn and threadbare, and of decidedly economical appearance. Every thing about him, indeed, wore an economical look. His scant coat-tails, narrow pants, and short waistcoat, showed that the cost of each inch of material had been counted, while his thin hair, brushed carefully over his bald head, had not a lock to spare; and even his large, sharp bones were covered with only just enough flesh to hold them comfortably together. He had stood there till his eye was dim and his step feeble, and though he had, for twenty years—when handing in his semi-annual trial-balances to the head of the house—declared that each one was his last, every body said he would continue to stand there till his own trial-balance was struck, and his earthly accounts were closed forever.[Pg 233]

As I entered, he turned his mild blue eye upon me, and taking my hand warmly in his, exclaimed:

'My dear boy'—I was nearly forty—'I am glad to see you.'

'I am glad to see you, David.'

'Why, bless me, Mr. Kirke, is that you?' exclaimed a much younger man, springing from his seat near the other, and grasping me by both hands. 'What has brought you to Boston?'

'Business, Frank. I've just arrived, and go back to-morrow. Come! my wife is in the carriage at the door, and wants you to spend the evening with us.'

'I can't—I'm very sorry,' and he added, in a lower tone, 'she has just heard of her father's death, and goes home to-morrow. I have engaged to pass the evening with her.'

'Her father dead! how was it?'

'He was thrown from his horse, and died the same day. She knew nothing of it till yesterday. I can not neglect her now. I will spend to-morrow with mother.'

He always called her mother, though he was not her son. He had done it when a child, and now that he was a man, hers was the dearest name he knew. He loved her as his mother, and she loved him as her son. But any woman might have loved him. His straight, closely-knit, sinewy frame, dark, deep-set eyes, and broad, open forehead, overhung with thick, brown hair, were only the outshadowing of a beautiful mind, of an open, upright, manly nature, whose firm and steady integrity nothing could shake.

'I'm sorry to hear it,' I replied; 'but go down and see her, while I speak to Mr. Hallet.'

Rapping at the door of an inner office, separated from the outer one by a ground-glass partition, I was admitted by a tall, dark man, who, with a stiff and slightly embarrassed manner, said to me:

'I am glad to see you, Mr. Kirke. Pray, be seated.'

As he pointed to a chair, a shorter and younger gentleman, who was writing at another desk, rose, and slapping me familiarly on the back, exclaimed:

'My dear fellow, how are you?'

'Very well, Cragin, how are you?'

'Good as new—never better in my life—how goes the world with you?'

The last speaker was not more than thirty-three, but a bald spot on the top of his head, and a slight falling-in of his mouth, caused by premature decay of the teeth, made him seem several years older. He had marked but not regular features, and a restless, dark eye, which opened and shut with a peculiar wink that kept time with the motion of his lips in speaking. His clothes were cut in a loose, jaunty style, and his manner, though brusque and abrupt, betokened, like his face, a free, frank, manly character. He was ten or twelve years the junior of the other, and as unlike him as one man can be unlike another.

The older gentleman, as I have said, was tall and dark. He had a high, bold forehead, and wore heavy gray whiskers, trimmed with the utmost nicety, and meeting under a sharp, narrow chin. His face was large and full, and his nose pointed and prominent, but his mouth was small, and gathered in at the corners like a rat's; and, as if to add to the rat-resemblance, its small, white teeth seemed borrowed from the jaws of that animal. There was a stately precision in his manner, and a stealthy softness in his tread, that would have impressed a stranger unfavorably; but I knew him. We had been boys together, and he loved me as he loved his own son. How well he loved him, the reader will learn, if he follows the course of my story.

These two gentlemen—Mr. Hallet and Mr. Cragin—were the senior partners in the great house of Russell, Rollins & Co.

Replying satisfactorily to the inquiry of Mr. Cragin, I turned to the older partner, and said:

'Well, Mr. Hallet, how does Frank get on?'[Pg 234]

'Oh! very well—knows a little too much, like most young men of his age, but he does very well.'

''Very well,' Mr. Ballet! d—d if he don't—he's the smartest boy living—made a clean forty thousand for us not two months ago—forced it on Hallet against his better judgment!' And Mr. Cragin laughed till he showed all that was left of two rows of tobacco-stained teeth.

'How was it Cragin?' I asked, greatly pleased.

A short rap came at the office-door, and Frank entered, his hat in his hand.

'Mother insists on my taking supper with her—will you go now, sir?' he said, addressing me.

Before I could reply, Mr. Hallet, rather sharply, asked:

'Have you finished your letters for the steamer?'

'Yes, sir.'

'What have you said to Maclean, Maris & Co., about the gum-copal?'

'I will show you, sir.'

And going into the other room, Frank returned in a moment with an open letter, still wet from the copying-press. Mr. Hallet took it and read it over slowly and carefully, then handing it back, he said, in the slightly pompous tone which was natural to him:

'That will do—you can go.'

I was rising to bid them 'good-evening,' when the senior said to me:

'Mr. Kirke, I dislike to trespass on your time, but I would like to confer with you for a moment, on a private matter.'

'Certainly, sir.' And I added: 'Frank, tell your mother I will meet you at the hotel in half an hour.'

'But I must be in Cambridge by eight o'clock,' replied the young man, looking a little chop-fallen.

'Well, don't wait for me—I will see you to-morrow.'

Bidding me 'good-night,' he left; and Mr. Cragin, seeing that his partner would be alone with me, left shortly afterward. As soon as Cragin was gone, Mr. Hallet, opening the door, called:


The book-keeper entered, and took a seat beside me.

'Mr. Kirke,' said Mr. Hallet, when the other was seated, 'I want to talk with you and David about Frank. He has entangled himself with that Southern girl, and, I hear, means to marry her. I strongly object to it. I've not a particle of influence with him, and you must prevent it.'

'Why should we prevent it?' I asked, rather sharply. 'What is there against the young woman?'

'Nothing against her character, but she'd not be a fit wife for Frank. These Southern women are educated with wrong ideas—they make poor wives for poor men. He must marry a rich girl, or one brought up with New-England habits. This one would bring him nothing, and spend all he made.'

'But she is an only child, and her father is rich.'

'Pshaw! that is bosh! Preston always lived high, and I'll guarantee his estate is bankrupt. I'm sorry for it, for he owes us.'

'Is that so! Largely?' 'No, not largely; how much is he overdrawn, David?'

'Eighty-two hundred and odd.'

'I'm surprised at that,' I said. 'The old house did not allow such things.'

'Neither do we; 'twas Cragin's work. He thought 'twould annoy Frank if the drafts went back, and'—he hesitated a moment—'he insisted upon it.'

'I am opposed to interfering in such matters. I always taught Frank to think for himself,' I remarked.

'You taught him to think too much for himself. He is self-willed and headstrong to a fault.'

'Perhaps his father might have trained him better, if—he had tried,' I replied, with a slight sneer.

'Pardon me, Mr. Kirke, I meant no reflection on your management of him. I only feel that this is a most important step, and he ought to be advised. He should marry rich, for he has nothing, and can not rely upon me.'[Pg 235]

'He does not rely upon you; but he is a partner now, and his income ought to enable him to support a wife.'

'His income is uncertain; he may not remain long in the concern,' replied Mr. Hallet coolly.

David started; his face reddened to the roots of his hair, and he asked in a sententious way, showing even in his expenditure of breath the close economy that was the rule of his life: 'Who told you that, Mr. Hallet?'

'No one,' replied that gentleman, seemingly surprised at the abrupt question; 'I am deliberating on it myself. He is sowing dissension between Cragin and me. The lowest boy in the office; even you, David, pay more heed to him than to me.'

'That may be your own fault,' I said, a little sarcastically; 'if you should treat him as Cragin and David do, you might have nothing to complain of.'

'I treat him well, sir; but I make him know his place.' The last words were emphasized in a hard, wicked tone.

Certain old recollections had been rushing across my memory during the latter part of this conversation, and this last remark brought me to my feet, as I said: 'You treat him like a dog, sir! I have seen it. If he were not your son, he should not stay with you another day! But I warn you, John Hallet—do not go too far. Cast that boy off—harm him to the extent of a hair—and, so help me God, I will strip you of the lying cloak in which you hide your false, hypocritical soul, and show men what you are!'

In my excitement, I had crossed the room, and stood then directly before him. His face flushed and his eye quailed before my steady gaze, but he said nothing.

David remarked, in a mild tone: 'Edmund, that an't the right spirit; it an't.'

'You don't know the whole, David; if you did, even you would say he is the basest man living.'

Hallet pressed his teeth together; his eyes flashed fire, and he seemed about to spring upon me; but mastering his passion, he rose after a moment and extended his hand, saying: 'Come, Mr. Kirke, this is not the talk of old friends! Let us shake hands and forget it.'

'Never, sir! I took your hand for the last time when I left this counting-room, twenty years ago. I never touch it again! I shall tell that boy to-night that you are his father.'

'You will not do so imprudent a thing. I will do any thing for him—any thing you require. I promise you—on my honor,' and the stately head of the great house of Russell, Rollins & Co., sank into a chair and bent down his face like a criminal in the dock.

'I can not trust you,' I said, as I paced the room,

'You can, Edmund; he means it. He is sorry for the wrong he's done,' said the old book-keeper, in that mild, winning tone which had made me so love him in my boyhood.

'Well, let him prove that he means it; let him tell you all; let him tell you how much he has had to repent of!'

'I have told him all. I told him years ago.'

'Did you tell him how you cast off that poor girl? how for years on her knees she vainly plead for a paltry pittance to keep her child from starving and herself from sin? Did you tell him how you forced her on the street? how you drove her from you with curses, when she prayed you to save her from the pit of infamy into which you had plunged her? Did you tell him,' and I hissed the words in his ear, while he writhed on his seat in such agony as only the guilty can feel; 'how, at last, after all those wretched years, she died of starvation and disease, with all that mountain of sin on her soul, and all of it heaped on her by YOU!'

'Oh! no! I did not—could not tell him that! I did not know I had done that!' groaned the stately gentleman.

'You lie, John Hallet! You know you lie! and may God deal with you as you dealt with her,' and I took up my hat and laid my hand on the door.[Pg 236]

'Stop, stop, Edmund; don't go with those words. You would not have God do to you as you have done to others!' said David, in the same mild tone as before.

'True, David. I ought not to wish him harm; but I loathe and detest the hypocritical villain. Frank shall leave him to-night, and forever!' and again I laid my hand on the door.

Mr. Hallet looked up; his face was pale as marble, and his hands clenched tightly the arms of his chair, 'Don't go, Mr. Kirke,' he cried; 'stay one moment. Can't this be arranged?'

'Yes, sir. Sign a dissolution article at once—here—NOW, and give Frank your check for twenty thousand dollars.'

'No, no! You don't mean that! It is too much—you can not ask that!' gasped the great merchant.

'Too much for the son of a man worth a million? Too much to pay for starving his mother, and turning him adrift at six years old? It is not enough! He must have thirty thousand!'

'You are mad, Mr. Kirke!' And he rose, and looked at me with a pleading face. 'I can not pay that amount down. It is impossible.'

'David, how much has he in bank on private account?'

Mr. Hallet cast a beseeching glance at his book-keeper; but without moving a muscle, the old man quietly replied: 'Fifty-three thousand.'

'I knew you lied, Hallet. It is natural to you.'

'But I can't let Frank go without Mr. Cragin's consent.'

'I will arrange with Cragin. Sign the check and draw the paper at once, or I go.'

'But give me time to think—see me to-morrow.'

'I shall never exchange a word with you after to-night. You can have ten minutes—not a second more,' and I took out my watch to count the time.

He seated himself at his desk, and rested his head on his hand for a moment; then turning to me, he said: 'You promise that this interview, and all that has passed, shall never be mentioned by you?'

'I do—never to your injury.'

'David, please write the check,' said the senior partner, as he proceeded himself to draw up the agreement. In a few minutes he handed it to me. It was short, and merely recited that the co-partnership which had theretofore existed between John Hallet, Augustus Cragin, and Henry F. Mandell, under the name and style of Russell, Rollins & Co., was on that day dissolved by mutual consent; said Mandell withdrawing, and assigning the control of all the assets of said firm to said Hallet and Cragin, and releasing to said Hallet any portion of its capital and profits to which he might be entitled.

I read the document, and quietly handed it back. 'That will not do, Mr. Hallet. Thirty thousand dollars settles with you, his father. I have not, and shall not make any settlement with the firm. David must pay Frank what is his due—no more, no less.'

'But,' began Mr. Hallet.

'I have nothing more to say on the subject, sir.'

He drew a deep sigh. The parting with an only son, and with thirty thousand dollars, at one and the same time, affected him deeply. He might have borne the loss of the son; but the loss of so much money rent his small, black soul into fragments. However, he rewrote the paper, and passed it to me. It was all right; and when he had signed and David had witnessed it, I placed it in my pocket-book. Then, with a trembling hand, he handed me the check. It was drawn to my order; and I remarked, as I took it: 'This is not what I require, sir. I want your check, indorsed by David.'

'This is most unaccountable, Mr. Kirke. Do you question my check for thirty thousand dollars?' he asked, his face flushing with anger.

'Oh! no, sir, not at all; but you might stop its payment. With David's indorsement, you would not dare to do it.'[Pg 237]

'I will indorse it,' said David; and he quietly proceeded to write another.

That cold, hard, soulless man had a wife and children; but that old book-keeper was the only being in all this wide world that he loved!

Placing the check with the other paper, I shook David by the hand, and bidding him 'good-night', passed down the old stairway.

As Frank is the hero of my history, I will, in another chapter, go back some seventeen years, and tell the reader how he came to be under my control, and how he rose to be a partner in the great house of Russell, Rollins & Co.


Up among the Granite mountains,
By the Bay State strand,
Hark! the paean cry is sounding
Through all Yankee land.
'Wave the stars and stripes high o'er us,
Let every freeman sing,
In a loud and joyful chorus:
Brave young Corn is King!
Join, join, for God and freedom! Sing, Northmen, sing:
Old King Cotton's dead and buried: brave young Corn is King.'

Southward rolls the cry of gladness,
On past Washington;
Where the bond-slave stoops no longer,
But stands up, a Man!
O'er battle-fields of 'Ole Virginny,'
Floats the black man's song:
'Brudders, God is takin' vengeance
For de darky's wrong!
Shout, shout, for God and Freedom! Sing, darkies, sing!
Ole Massa Cotton's dead foreber: Young Massa Corn am King!'

Through the Mississippi valley,
Down the river's tide,
Hosts of patriots rush to rally
On their Country's side;
And across the green savannahs
Of the Southern clime,
Armies, under Union banners,
To this song keep time:
'March, march, for God and Freedom! Sing, soldiers, sing!
Pallid Cotton's dead and buried: Yellow Corn is King!'

Let the tidings swell o'er ocean
To another shore,
Till proud England pales and trembles
Where she scoffed before!
Ne'er again shall serpent-friendship
Rise to hiss and sting!
Cotton leagues no more with Traitors:
Honest Corn is King!
Jubilate! God and Freedom! Sing, Americans, sing
Tyrant Cotton's dead forever! Honest Corn is King!
[Pg 238]


Among the Pines. By Edmund Kirke. New-York: J. R. Gilmore, 532 Broadway. 1862.

Perhaps it is not altogether in rule to say much of a work which has appeared in our pages. But we may at least call attention to what others have said. And good authority—plenty of it, such authority as should make a reputation for any book—has declared The Pines to be in truth a work of the highest merit and of a new order. It is a perfectly truthful record of scenes and characters drawn from personal experience in the South; combining the accuracy of Olmstead's works with the thrilling interest of Uncle Tom. It should be fairly stated—as the author desires it should be—that every thing did not occur precisely in the order in which it is here narrated. But all is true—every page speaks for itself in this particular. No stronger piece of local coloring ever issued from the American press. We seem, in reading it, to live in the South—to know the people who come before us. All of them are, indeed, life-portraits. In one or two instances, the very names of the originals remain unchanged.

In it the author deals fairly and honorably with the South. The renegade Yankee, and not the native planter, is made to bear the heaviest blow. The principal character, Colonel J——, is one of nature's noblemen, struggling through aristocratic education and circumstance with an evil whose evil he cannot comprehend. Very valuable indeed are the sketches of life among the 'mean whites.' No descriptions of them to be compared with these in The Pines have ever yet appeared. They rise clear as cameo-reliefs on a dark ground, and we feel that they too are like the slave-holder, victims like the slave, of a system, and not with him, deliberate wretches. Their squalor, ignorance, pride, and dependence—their whole social status, inferior to that of the blacks whom they despise, appear as set forth, we do not say by a master-hand, but by themselves.

This work, tolerant and just, yet striking, has appeared at the right time. While interesting as a novel, it is full of solid, simple facts—it is based on them and built up with them. Without attempting to set forth a principle, it shows beyond dispute that slavery does not pay in the South as well as free labor would, and that the blacks would produce more as free laborers than as slaves. It shows that Emancipation for the sake of the White Man is a great truth, and that the white man would be benefited by raising the sense of independence in the black, and by elevating him in every way in which he is capable of improvement.

It may be said with great truth of The Pines, that it would be difficult to find a book in which such striking facts and vivid pictures are set forth with such perfect simplicity of language. There is no effort at fine writing in it, and no consciousness of its absence. The author never seems to have realized that a story could be told for effect, and the natural result has been the most unintentional yet the strongest effect. The practical eye of one familiar with planks and turpentine, building and farming, business and furniture, economy and comfort, betrays itself continually. He sees how things could be bettered not as a mere philanthropist would try to see them, but as one who knows how capital ought to be em[Pg 239]ployed, and he appreciates the fact that the sufferings of the people of every class in the South are really based on the wastefulness of the present system. That this spirit should be combined with a keen observation of local humor, and in several instances with narratives imbued with deep pathos, is not, however, remarkable. The man who can most vividly set forth facts and transfer nature to paper, seldom misses variety.

We rejoice that this work has met with such favorable reception from the public, and are happy to state that the author will continue his contributions to these columns. He has already, by a single effort, established a wide-spread reputation, and we know that he has that in him which will induce efforts of equal merit and a future which will be honorably recorded in histories of the literature of the present day.

Thomas Hood's Works. Volume IV. Aldine Edition. Edited by Epes Sargent. New-York: G. P. Putnam. Boston: A. K. Loring. 1862.

No better paper, no better type, can be desired than what is lavished upon these beautiful editions of Putnam's works. It is a pleasure to touch their silky, Baskerville-feeling leaves, and think that one possesses in the series one more work de luxe, which 'any one' might be glad to own. The present consists of The Whims and Oddities, with the—originally—two volumes of National Tales: the former piquant and variously eccentric; the latter written in a quaint, old-fashioned style, which the editor compares justly to that of Boccaccio, yet which was really, till within some fifty years, so very common a form of narration, having so much in common with Spanish and French nouvelettes, that it is hardly worth while to suppose that Hood followed the great. Italian at all. The whole work is one mass of entertainment, none the worse for having acquired somewhat of a game-y flavor of age, and for gradually falling a little behind the latest styles of humor. 'Mass! 'tis a merry book, and will make them merry who read it!'

The Works of Thomas Hood. Edited by Epes Sargent. Vol. V. New-York: G. P. Putnam. 1862.

The present volume of Hood's writings is composed of dramatic sketches, odes, political satires, and miscellaneous pieces not generally contained in former collections of his works. Among these is the long and beautiful 'Lamia' in dramatic form; the 'Epping Hunt;' the poems of sentiment; the inimitable Odes and Addresses to Great People, and some scores of minor poems, mostly humorous, including, however, all of those on which his reputation as a true poet of the highest rank is based. Among these is the 'Lay of the Laborer,' a standing and bitter reproach to England—the England of millions of pounds of capital—the England of piety—the England of morality—the England of 'all the rights of man,' where there are more paupers and more miseries than in any other land on earth, and where there is accordingly the most social tyranny of any country.

'Ay, only give me work,
And then you need not fear
That I shall snare his worship's hare,
Or kill his grace's deer.'

'Where savage laws begrudge
The pauper babe its breath,
And doom a wife to a widow's life
Before her partner's death.'

When England shall have turned aside the reproach of this poem, it will be time for her to abuse America as 'uncivilized.'

Agnes of Sorrento, By Mrs. Harriet Beecher Stowe. Boston: Ticknor and Fields. 1862.

If there be, at the present day, an ungrateful task for an intelligent reader or a conscientious reviewer, it is to be obliged to deal with a work whose whole compass is merely that of a second-rate romance inspired by rococo sentimentalism. We regret to speak thus of a book by so eminent a writer as Mrs. Stowe; but when any one at this time undertakes to build up a novel out of such material as cloisters, monks, and nuns,[Pg 240] Beato Angelico and frankincense, cavaliers and Savonarola, with the occasional 'purple patch' of a rhyming Latin hymn—in short, when we see the long-exhausted melo-dramatic style, which was years ago thoroughly quizzed in 'Firmilian,' revived in the year 1862 in a work of fiction, we can not refrain from expressing sorrow that a public can still be found to welcome such a bouquet of faded and tattered artificial flowers. There is something, indeed, almost painfully amusing in the liberal use of perfectly exhausted and thoroughly hackneyed elements of popular romance which appear in every page of Agnes of Sorrento. A writer has said of the heroine, that 'she is one of those ethereal females, only encountered in romance, who dwell on the brink of exaltation, and never eat bread and butter without seeming to fly in the face of Divine Providence.' But this feebly expresses the worn-out ornamental piety of the work. It would require but very little alteration to become one of the most intensely amusing books of the age.

Seventh Annual Report of the Insurance Commissioners of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

An interesting collection of documents, which will be read or examined with great pleasure by all who devote their attention to the rapidly maturing science of insurance, a science which perhaps combines in its range of material as much of the curious and useful as any other known; the whole tending to one great lesson: that every thing should be insured and that no insurance should be taxed by Government.

Twenty-Fourth Annual Report of The Board of Education. Boston: William White. 1862.

Apart from the vastly important testimony which these works bear to the efforts annually made in our good State in the cause of education—the great source, let us trust, of the politics to be—we seldom fail to find in them many useful hints as to the practical business of teaching, of which any writer on the subject would be glad to avail himself. Many such, at least, we detect in the volume before us, and sincerely trust that all will in due time bear their good fruit.

Concord Fight. By S. R. Bartlett. Second edition. Concord: Albert Tracy. Boston: Crosby, Nichols & Co. 1862.

A poem of thirty-two pages, devoted to setting forth the incidents of Concord and Lexington fights, in the Revolutionary days, and therefore very appropriate to our own time. The 'plan' is excellent; the incidents well devised, while many little lyrical touches here and there are truly admirable. For instance, 'The White Cockade.'

'Firm hearts and true, strong bands to do,
For liberty;
The fierce old strain rings once again:
'Come death or victory!'

'The lips that woke the dawning note
Are passed away;
But the echoes of the 'White Cockade'
Ring round our hills to-day.'

Long may they ring, and long may the descendants of the men of '76 prove that they still hear in spirit 'the dawning notes.'[Pg 241]


The English journals and statesmen, in their excessive anxiety to regulate every thing for the world in general and for America in particular, quite lose sight of the fact, that before interfering in a neighbor's affairs, it is best to know what the state of affairs may really be. Of late, we have seen these makers of public opinion making mischief through gross ignorance, to a degree well-nigh unparalleled in history. On the strength of flying rumors, unfinished events imperfectly reported, and through Secession slanders, their great leaders, both representative and editorial, have ventured to spread before the masses statements which must unavoidably tend to greatly exasperate and alienate the people of our respective nations. They are blindly running up scores of hatred, which at some day may call for fearful settlement. Their influence is very great on the rank-loving multitude in their own country—a multitude which, after all, is, in the majority, more miserable and nearly as ignorant as that of any realm in Europe, or even the East, for there are fewer paupers in Turkey or Syria than in wealthy England. Yet, quite unheeding this, they continue to express sympathy for the South, declare with Brougham that the bubble of Democracy has at length burst, and chuckle over every Northern defeat. All of which shall be duly remembered.

The grossest error into which these men have fallen, is that of continually regarding our war not as a struggle between two great principles, or as an unavoidable necessity, but simply as a strife between two factions. Nearly every London editorial which we have seen for weeks proves this. 'What will the North gain if it conquers the South? What will the South make? What are WE to benefit by a victory of either?' It is perfectly natural, however, for a monarchy, virtually without 'politics,' devoid of great progressive ideas, and smothered by 'loyalty' and faith in an aristocracy, to see, as men did in the middle ages, nothing but a dispute of rival forces in every battle. It is 'Brown vs. Brown' to them, and nothing more. With the exception of Bright and his friends, no one in England seems to comprehend that our North has in itself the vital, progressive energy which must give it victory—the same spirit which enables English civilization to gain on the Hindoo or the New-Zealander—the spirit of science and intelligence, which conquers ignorance.

The fact that English statesmen can talk so calmly of the possibilities of Southern victory, and weigh with such equanimity the claims of the combatants, simply proves their ignorance of the real condition of the United States. And they are indeed very ignorant of us. Perhaps ignorance and thoughtlessness were never more decidedly manifested than in Brougham's late rhodomontade on the failure of Democracy in this country. For, in fact, there is not difference enough between the representative power of England and that of America to make a question. Between Commons and our House of Representatives—the most influential legislative bodies—there is no such great difference. English writers have asserted that our government is actually the strongest monarchy of the two, because our President possesses far greater power of patronage and personal influence than the Queen. The real difference is not between the forms of government, but between the innate flunkeyism of the Briton and the independence of the[Pg 242] American. If we had the British government in every detail, and if John Bull were to adopt our system, the countries would stand where they were, and each gradually 'reform' itself, according to its ideas of reform, back into the old routine. The Englishman, needing 'my Lord' and 'Her Gracious Majesty,' and as unable to live without his golden calves of 'superiors' as bees are to exist without a queen, would soon create them; while the American blood, sprung from the republican Puritan, and developed into strength on a continent, would very soon, after a nine days' féte to his new fétish, kick it over, and instituting caucuses and primary ward-meetings, or 'town-meetings,' (a ceremony which no European in existence, save the Russian, is capable of properly managing,) would soon have all back again in the old road.

Democracy among the 'Yankees' as well as all North-Americans who are free from a servile respect for simple rank and money, is something very different from that mere form which Brougham, and with him nearly all Europe, believe it to be. We are not Frenchmen, or Englishmen, or Orientals, to quietly sit down under any kind of government which chance may impose, and exclaim: 'It is fate.' Democracy with us is not the mere form which they imagine. It is, like the English government, like the German, like the Pachalik of the Oriental, something as much a part of us as our national physiognomy. A very great proportion of the Englishmen who come here, remain flunkeys to the end—an American, other than a soul-diseased disciple of Richmond sociology, or some weak brother or sister dazed by court ball-tickets—quite as generally remain a despiser of men who acknowledge other men as their betters by mere birth. A love of freedom is in our blood, in our life, in our habits. We are fond, it is true, of temporarily lionizing great people, but we soon reduce them to our own level. America has shaken down more eminencies into notorieties than any other country in the world—it is a severe and terrible ordeal for great foreigners. Our eagerness to behold them is simply a keen curiosity and a natural love of amusement which is soon appeased. An American would crowd foremost to see Queen Victoria for the first time in his life—the second opportunity would be neglected. But the London shop-keeper who has seen that lady perhaps hundreds of times, still rushes out in wild haste, with eyes wide open, to behold her when she drives past. 'They can never get enough of it.' As one of their own writers has observed, a London tradesman may have been swindled a hundred times by real or sham noblemen, and yet no sooner does some flaunting cheat with the air noble enter his shop, than the cockney bows low and implores patronage with a cringing zeal only equaled by his 'uppishness' to humbler customers.

The truth simply is, that English thinkers wrongly judge our people to be like their own, and as capable of promptly submitting to acknowledged superiors. In the same blindness and ignorance, they see only two parties, equal in all respects in this war, and realize nothing of the innate vitality and irresistibly accretive power of free-labor, science, and progress, when brought into opposition with a conservatism which scorns every thing pertaining to the rights of the majority. Misled by their associations, they believe that the 'Aristocratic' party must triumph in the end, forgetting that even in their own country capital is gradually destroying the old land-marks which divided the privileged classes from the masses. We who virtually occupy a higher stand-point in history, though, perhaps, we are newer dwellers in our domain and not as yet as comfortable in it as they in theirs, can, however, afford to laugh at their opinions and threats. A nation, whose utmost effort could not raise above thirty thousand men for a war in which the point of honor between themselves and the French was at stake, is not the one to lay down laws to the American North,[Pg 243] which could—probably without drafting—bring its million into the field. It is worth remembering that, had they sent us their Warrior, as they threatened after the Mason and Slidell difficulty, she would have met with the Monitor!

Three hundred thousand men are wanted—and that right early!

Let there be meetings, speeches, subscriptions—let every thing that is vigorous and impulsive and patriotic thrill the people forthwith: Let there be no lagging in the good cause. Never since the war begun was there a time when a fierce rally was more needed. We have it in our power to crush this rebellion to atoms, if the people will but once arouse in their might. Even this draft for three hundred thousand, when we come to portion it off among those remaining in our counties, becomes quite trifling.

'More than shooting goes to making war.' All who are in the North can fight to good purpose, if they will, every man and woman of them, do their best to raise soldiers, equip them and take care of their families.

Men! rise up and go forth. You will acquire a patent of nobility by serving in this war, which will be worth more to you and yours in coming days than any title on earth. You go to great risks—but not to any thing which can outweigh the good you can do for this truly holy cause. Have you lived lives 'of no great account'—now is the time to rise to a position—to be some body, and make your mark. Have you been a mere cipher in the great sum of life—a neglected trifle—now is the time to raise yourself to a real value. It can never be said of a man who served in this war that he was of no great account.

Has your life been stained—by misfortune or your own faults? Now is the time to wipe out the old score and begin afresh. What cautious, timid Peace rejects as bad, bold, hearty War grasps at with eagerness and makes good and great.

Are you poor, and dragging out a dull, base life, more sluggishly than your abilities deserve? Go to the war—in God's name, go to the war! Who knows what changes in life you may live through—what new opportunities may open before you! In that wide Southland lie a million homes, and there will be those left behind who—if you fight bravely—will give the matter no rest till you are richly rewarded. There is not a soldier in this war at this instant who is not acquiring what may be a fortune. Somebody must occupy the lands left vacant in the South!

Are you a lover? Make her proud of you.

Do not fear the risks. That is a poor, wretched life which has never run the chances of death.

'Fast in battle the bullets fly,
But many a soldier the bullets pass by.'

Arise all! Up, Guards, and at 'em! Let there be a general up-stirring and a hearty good-will in this matter. The enemy have brought every white man among them into the field—they are kept alive solely by the blacks. One tremendous effort, such as we are capable of making, would sweep them from the face of the earth. Another struggle and we reach the shore.

Many years ago, the South began to alienate itself from the Union, by blindly abusing every thing pertaining to the North as 'Abolition.' They wanted a grievance; they would have one, and so yelled 'Wolf! wolf!' till the wolf came in roaring earnest. In like manner, the Democratic dabblers in mischief are now yelling 'Radical,' abusing emancipation, and doing all in their power to hoist themselves into notoriety. They are determined to force separate parties into existence, and they will end by accomplishing their purpose, by being in a losing reactionary minority, which will bear the brand in later days of having been the most unprincipled, narrow-minded, and desperately selfish faction which this country has ever known.[Pg 244]

Gentle reader, accept the following from a friend in the quaint spirit in which it is written, and understand not by bad company aught that is evil—for if we read the word of the enigma, the 'bad' among her 'friends of the future' is indeed goodness-that saving salt which is often found among many who are too hastily banned as lost in the world. So, we pray you, judge it kindly:


'There is no real amusement except in bad company.'—Italian Proverb.

Reprehensible but real sentiment of your humble servant, O dearly beloved reader! Your lips reprove me, but your heart forgives and sympathizes! And that heart rebels with mine against that adverse Past which has given to us so little of 'real amusement' from 'bad company,' and demands, like mine, reparation from the Future for the sufferings we have endured from unexceptionable and perfectly good company!

The representative men and women of that small and select bad company, (who have made the desert of our lives to blossom with roses, violets, strawberries and cream,) how distinctly they stand out on the horizon of memory! I see them—I count them, as easily as those few stately pines on yonder hill-top—one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. No more? What! not a delightful eight? Who has translated the murmur of the summer wind among the pines as 'No more?' 'No more?' Alas! to-day they give that answer to me, as I seek for one other in that bad and beloved company! 'But he cometh'—adveniat—he cometh in the future. O eighth! your morning will yet dawn.

Welcome, O Friend of the Future I whatever thy sex. Welcome! whether in cashmere and graceful crinolineaments, or in gray-suit and grecio!—only be 'more of the same sort.' Heaven is not so cruel! to give us five hundred dear twin-friends, on whom one has to tie five hundred different colored bows (I assure you, Monsieur, the ribbon-florists have this season produced five hundred colors) in order to distinguish one from another! Heaven would not do this cruel wrong without offering some apology—some mitigation.

Ah! you sigh. Your heart, then, does forgive me—I knew it would. Give me your hand, (such a soft, white hand!) I confess the proverb did sound a little naughty, but it's not really so. At all events, it is the truth—and, you know, we

'Can not tell a lie!' G. W.

Ah! this hand, though soft and white, is no longer plump and unconscious; it has suffered! You, too, have been bored—ah! I must kiss it.

'I, too, am human.'

I also have been bored! Come, now, you mistrust me no longer-and I—I love you! I love you, and, therefore, I want to amuse you; perhaps, by Heaven's blessing, I may prove 'bad company' myself!

For I can not but believe that somewhere in the purple Future, or latent amid the green leaves of the possible Fairy-dom, (in which some rich enchanter of an uncle is to lea-re us all an heritage,) there bide, waitingly, certain dear friends—delightful, daring, witty, and wicked creatures—like yourself, O reader I—with whom I am destined to be, spiritually, 'very much married indeed;' or if the expression sound too polygamatical, let me simply say lié. [For Heaven's sake, accept that as French, warm with an accent, and not as English, cold without one.] Lié means 'bound'—anchored, so to speak, to an intimate in an amicable manner. And it is in their friendship—in their kind and tender words and courteous deeds, and winsome ways, that I most truly live.

Where these dearmost ones may bide, I know not. Seven—yes—seven I have met, whom I cherish like diamonds of delight in the cotton of memory. It is worth noting, my dear, in this connection, that sev-en is one of the conjugations in Turkish of the root sev, or 'loving,' and 'them old Turks,' you know—but I am digressing. Are there not still to come seven—yea, seventy times seven, (I have mislaid my Koran, in which the number is more accurately stated,) of my Friends of the Future!

But I know what they are like. Oh! the charming, delightful wretches, how I enjoy looking at them—in fact, 'I admire to see' them—as they sweep along through the golden halls of my Schloss Dream-berg. Such nice clothes as they wear—the ducks! Such good things as they say—such—such—

It is too warm to-day to attempt superla[Pg 245]tives. It were better to drink—say, iced lemonade, in which—for you, dear reader—by some mistake a little sherry has been cobblered. Sherrare est humanum. The Rabbis, we are told, forbade the children of Israel to puff the fire on the Sabbath with bellows, though they might keep it going by blowing through a straw. Wherefore, to this day, certain of the devout 'keep it a-going' by means of a straw—only by some strange mistake in interpretation, or by some vowel-points getting mislaid, they, instead of blowing from them in the straw, suck toward them. And their 'society' is a large one.

But we were talking of 'good company,' as they say in 'good society'—not of 'good society,' as they say in 'good company.' And, therefore, although not 'a retired clergyman,' and devoutly hoping that my 'sands of life' are not by a very long while 'run out,' (for I want to see my future friends,) I would yet (without these advantages) offer you 'some slight relief,' and would seek to assuage your sufferings resulting from too much good company; and since we have so few friends in the past who have amused us, turn we our 'regards' to the possible


First among whom is


Face such as would-be Byron youths all crave,
Impenetrable, gloomy as the grave;
Voice, a 'French-gray,' the promise of the face,
You'd swear he thought to laugh, a deep disgrace.
Behold the mask of a bacchantine soul,
Drinking deep draughts from life's enchanting bowl.
Whether the bowl be from Cellini's hand.
If rude, still crowning it with Fancy's flowers,
Laughing at Time, and flirting with her Hours.
He is not pious, and to church won't go;
He says he can't—'tis so extremely slow.'
Bagnolè! with the 'goats' you're set apart'
And yet, how can we wish a 'change of heart'
In one like thee—great-minded, brave, and true!
Ah! what a world, if all were such as you!
But I forget—he's tender to the weak:
To the sad Magdalene he'll kindly speak
Words of pure gold—not that base metal thing
Which falls like lead and gives no friendly ring;
Opening the wound, to see if it is deep,
Arousing thought, to see if' tis asleep!
'Tendir and treue,' us Douglas was of old,
How far they see, who call thee 'tame and cold'!
Tame! as a tiger: cold! as hot as flame!
Where does he board, and what, oh! what's his name?


Dark Passion-flower, with keen mimosa-leaves,
Into my life your fate her shuttle weaves.
How long those wistful eyes have haunted mine—
Brown eyes of earth—they have no light divine.
Brown eyes! ye fill my soul with burning love—
No Pantheon soul—lighted from above!
O sister mine! you'll come to me at last—
That shall atone for all our weary past.
So pure thou art, with soul so joyous, free.
The world could not forgive—and hated thee!
To be 'unlike the world,' is thy dark sin.
You or 'the world'? the 'you' my heart shall win.
Within that shrine, so delicately fair,
Burns a bright spirit which 'a world' can dare;
She mocks 'the world,' but she would die for me.
Her heart is fathomed by eternity;
And yet she's always 'in the fashion' dressed,
And 'wants a cashmere,' (she to me confessed.)
Oh! you can see her, almost any day,
Hat of pale violet, dress of silver-gray.
She goes to parties and the 'Music-Hall;'
She eats her dinner, and she gives a ball.
You nod and smile: 'We know her now—we see!'
Perhaps! Alas! she's quite unknown to me!


How can I tell you if her face be fair,
While the gay sunshine of her smile is there?
How can I tell you of a brilliant mind,
When every word she speaks is angel-kind?
Need I describe her voice, so melting sweet?
Or the small mouth, which is its passage meet!
I only know, while for her voice I wait,
[Pg 246]I see fair pearls behind that rosy gate.
But when she speaks, her diamond-wit's so bright,
All other beauties vanish from our sight.
No need for her to fear 'the world's rebuff!
Too much of Marie's always just enough I
She is 'bad company,' yet e'en 'the good'
Can find no flaw in her fair maidenhood.
The saints don't doubt that she is in their fold—
It makes me laugh to think how they are 'sold.'
Nice, naughty folks are sure, she's of their creed,
Yet she's no hypocrite, in word or deed.
What is she, then—this gem without a flaw?
She is—she is—a maid-en made of 'straw'!

Reader, have you in your house a vivarium or aquarium, or any other variety of animal curiosity-shop, under care of the younger members? If so, the subjoined sketch may awaken in your mind more than one vivid souvenir, We know, at all events, that some of its 'features' were founded on facts; that is, if a 'feature' can be 'founded.' However, we take the phrase from—but no, we are sufficiently abused by the Democratic editors, as it is.

Editor of the Continental: Among the lesser joys of maternity, that of having your children interested in a vivarium is one of the least—in fact, it is an elephantine sorrow.

James, my eldest son, is a genius; before he was twelve years old, he invented a rat-trap, which not only caught rats, but cut off their tails and—let them go. At thirteen, he spoke Italian so fluently that he caused a hand-organ grinder to throw a brick at him. At fourteen, he came home one day with six large panes of glass, some tin and putty, and made a vivarium, a thing full of mud, water, leeches, dirty weeds, and other improvements.

When James had finished his glass case, he placed it in the front drawing-room window, so that the public might behold that exquisite process of nature, tadpoles turning into spring water-chickens, as they call frogs on hotel bill of fares. Unfortunately, the gold fish he put in with them killed the tadpoles while they still wiggled, and a pickerel that he had bought of a fellow-school-boy for half-price, its tail being ragged, ate up the gold-fish.

If at any time vegetables bought for the table were missing, we all knew where they went to; in fact, that vivarium, from the time green peas came until cabbages were ripe, resembled a soupe à la Jardinière, and in summer-time a second course of boiled fish might easily have been found there.

One evening, when I had a little company, and while Fanny Schell was singing an aria, he caused her to conclude with an unusually high scream, by announcing at the top of his voice, while he pointed to the vivarium:

'Ma, the leeches have all crawled out!'

Imagine the feelings my little company had the rest of the evening.

I shall never forget the fright James gave me one hot night in July; it was Saturday, I remember well, for that was one of my son's holidays, and he returned home toward night unusually covered with mud, from a long walk in the country, evidently having been taking practical lessons in ditching. He was so very quiet after he returned, that I might have known he was in mischief. However, when his bed-time came, he kissed me good-night, and said:

'O ma! I have such a surprise for you in the morning.'

Unfortunately, I had the surprise that night. Business called my husband away from the city that morning, and I was alone. Waking up from a sound sleep about midnight, I distinctly heard somebody working on an anvil, like a blacksmith, 'ching-a-ling! ching-a-ling!' It evidently came from the drawing-room, and my fears at once told me it was a thief trying to break into the house. Next I heard some one whistle, like a man calling a dog, 'wheh! wheh! wheh!' Finally a dog barking, 'woo, woo, wooh!' Thoroughly alarmed, I sprang to the front-window, and called: 'Police! thieves!' until I managed to arouse the neighbors. I had the key of the front-door in my chamber; this I threw down to a police-officer, and in company with two others he boldly entered the house, lit the gas, and found—that vivarium full of bull-frogs!

My son banished the frogs and introduced cat-fish, (or, as they call them in Boston, 'horn-pouts.') One night, my great Angora cat, a cat born in the Rue de Seine, educated in the best French École des chattes, and brought to this country by my husband, fell a victim to la gourmandise, by falling into the vivarium while fishing for cat—horn-[Pg 247]pout—fish. James found her there in the morning, drowned, and partially eaten up by those she had hoped to eat. She went into the boudoir to Pout, and 'had done it.'

That finished the vivarium. I sincerely hope these trials to mothers will never again become the rage, and that something dry will next tempt our children's mania for home amusements. Cornelia.

'The Kansas John Brown Song,' which lately appeared in these columns, and which we credited to the Kansas Herald—following the lead of the newspaper where we found it—was written by the Rev. William W. Patton, of Chicago, for the Tribune of that city.

Though so often trampled down by the heel of patriotism, the old serpent of treason and disunion still keeps lifting his head and hissing venomously. In New-York, Fernando Wood—that incarnation of Northern secession—the man who dared to issue a proclamation recommending the inhabitants of the city of which he was mayor to go off with the South, is plotting and planning (unpunished, of course) with spirits of kindred baseness, to build up the old order and reestablish the rule of corruption. At Washington, all the timid, time-serving, and place-hoping members of Congress have been holding 'Conservative' meetings, at which the most insolent or timid propositions have been put forth; some of the traitors manifesting clear as day their undisguised sympathy for the rebels, others speaking only to preserve their tattered characters as Unionists. The upshot of all was given in a resolution that Congress has no power to deprive a person of his property, unless that person has been duly convicted by a trial by jury.

We are not through the war as yet. Possibly, ere the end come, the country may have something to say as to the propriety of our representatives holding meetings to protect and favor rebels in their 'rights.'

What's in a name? There was a great puzzle once in one name, as appeareth from the following:

Dear Sir: In a certain village not unknown to you, dwelleth one Alwright.

It is a good thing to have a good name. His, you observe, is 'petter as goot.'

Not long ago, A. went to an auction and bought things.

'What name, sir?' inquired the man with the hammer.


'What name, I say?' was the irritated reply.

'Alwright, I say.'

'All wrong, you mean. 'Spect you'll make it all right in the morning, hey?'

'Al-wright!' cried the purchaser.

'Yes, all right!' cried the crowd, taking the joke. 'All right-go ahead, old knock 'em down.'

The auctioneer began to be profane.

'A-l, Al,' began Alwright.

'Hold your tongue! Go——' continued the auctioneer.

'A-l Al, w-r-i-g-h-t wright,' continued the buyer.

'O—h, thunder!' exclaimed Hammer, on whom the laughter of the mob began to operate. 'That's it, is it! Beg pardon. James, put this gentleman's name down. All right, sir. Go ahead. Gentlemen, allow me to call your attention to this fine lot of leather. Did I hear twenty-five?—five—five—five—an' an' a ha'f, an' a ha'f, an' a ha'f—gone!'

Yours truly,

Constant Reader.

There is often some fun at auctions. One of the queerest ever reported to us was held in a French-Spanish be-Germanized village on the frontier, where business was transacted in something of a polyglott manner, as follows:

'Gentlemen-Messieurs-Senores y meine Herrne, I've got here for sale—a vender—a vendre zum verkaufen eine Schöne Büchse a first-rate rifle un fusil sans pareil, muy hermosa! Do I hear fifty pesos, cinquante Thaler ge-bid pour this here bully gun? Caballeros mira como es aplatado—all silvered up, in tip-top style—c'est de l'argent fin messieurs—s'ist alles von gutem Silber, Gott verdammich wenn's nicht echt is. Cinquante piastres, fünfzig, fünfzig, fifty do I hear, and[Pg 248] a half an' a half an' a half e un demi piastre un d'mi un d'mi ein halb' und ein halb' und ein halb' un medio y tin medio—wer sagt six shillins, six escalins, six escalins, seis reales, sechs schillin!? For this beautiful gun, good for Injuns, deer, bar, buffalo, or to kill one another with—madre Dios! bueno por matar los Americanos—first-rate to kill a Greaser—womit Sie alles was nicht Deutsch ist zu todten. Fifty-one dollars, thanky sir—cinquante deux—Merci, Monsieur! Wer sagt drei und fünfzig—ich glaube dass ein Deutscher bekommt's noch am Ende. Go it, Yankee, Dutch is a-gainin' on ye! and a half an' a half e trois quar' r' r' an' three quarters und drei Viertel y tres quartos—quelqu'un a dit fifty-three—fifty-four—going, going, gone, sir—at fifty-four—America ahead and Frenchy second-best.'

It would take some time, we should think, to be able to reel it off in such a quadruple thread.

Two 'after-Norse' poems are ours this month-the first from an esteemed Philadelphia correspondent—the second from another of the same State, but more inland. The following, we may observe, is written in the measure which most prevails in Icelandic poems:


Through the brown waters
Dash the swift prows;
At the helm Valor stands,
Death at the bows:
Vainly the foeman shrinks,
Palsied in fright,
Vain are his struggles, yet
Vainer his flight.

Triple defenses—
Fire, water, and steel,
Guard the gate of the West
From the Northerner's keel.
Though defiant at midnight,
Ere morning the wrath
Of the terrible sea-kings
Has leveled a path.

Rampart and heavy gun
From o'er the bay,
Whose broad waters stretch
'Twixt the ships and their prey:
But shattered the rampart lies,
Silent the gun,
As the circle of living fire
Madly rolls on.

Wide yawn the timbers,
Wild waters rush in,
As the ship settles fast
Mid the fierce battle-din:
Yet her guns hurl defiance,
As, stern to the last,
The sea sucks her in
With her flag on the mast.

Sons of the Northman,
Whose banner of old
Spread the shadow of terror
From each grisly fold,
Of his broad heritage
Worthy are ye:
Win it and wear it well,
Kings of the sea.

The next 'Norse' is longer. We find in it a brave ring of true poetry:


'Oh! dark and true and tender is the North.'

Loud leaps the strong wind forth,
Fierce from the caves of the mighty North,
Ages untold,
O'er town and wold,
That rest 'neath a softer sky,
Swept that blast in anger by,
And in his wrathful eddies bore
The fiery song of Odin and Thor.
Then little avail,
'Gainst the Vi-king's arm,
The maiden's tear, the warrior's mail,
Or the priestman's charm.
And o'er the bright South-land
A shadow of dread was the North wind's course,
Whene'er his surging currents fanned
The raven banner of the Norse.

Years pass, and time new rays has brought,
Yet still the Northman's heart is warm;
But light on his soul a change has wrought,
And he loves the calm as he loved the storm.

Another god than the fearful Thor
In heaven's blue he saw,
And he gave to Peace his might in war—
His anger to the law.

And the strong hand holds the sickle now,
The anvil rings at morn;
And waving sunbeams tinge with gold
The hues of the ripening corn.

And the land he loves in peace has grown
To be mighty in wealth and name;
But o'er its brightness a cloud has flown,
And evil men to its councils came.

And all seemed locked in a deadly sleep,
While treason walked in her halls of state,
And good men grieve, but hopeless weep,
[Pg 249]And the song of the scoffer is loud at the gate.

'The nation must pass away.
For the Northman's blood is cold,
And little he recks of honor or name,
If his hand may clutch the gold.

'Work treason—work your will—
Divide our Fatherland;
Hearts are craven, souls are base—
'Tis fit for the traitor's hand.

'Fear no more the Northman's rage,
The blood of the Vi-kings is old and worn;
No ancient mem'ry can stir him now,
To stand by the flag his fathers have borne.'

The words half-sung in silence fall,
Hushed in dread by a mightier call,

That stays the hand—that throbs the heart;
Cleaving the gloom, that wild war-note—
The traitor's foot is on your flag,
His bayonet at our throat.

And hark! the North-wind's sullen moan
Rises high to a sterner tone,
That sinks away, then bursts anew
In joy, as 'mid its surges grew
The shout, the stroke, the cannon's peal,
The tread of countless number.
For the flash of a traitor's steel
Has broken the nation's slumber;
And sighing breeze and southern gale,
Seized by the fierce wind's grasp, are torn
From gentle haunt by hill or dale,
And in the whirling vortex borne.
There murm'ring on his hollow breast,
And wond'ring at his wild unrest,
Their shrieking echoes sounding far,
Loud swelled the Northman's shout to war;
For with death's dark shadows flitting by,
And the day as dark as night,
A nation's hands are raised on high
To hold their ancient right.
And the ages are rolled from the record of time;
For the years of peace with its soft'ning beam,
That soothed in love the Northman's heart,
Are now but the mists of a warrior's dream.
And the tinsel of life is burned in the glow
That flames in his heart as in years long ago,
When Norman sea-kings swept the wave,
Who loved the night, the storm, and bloody grave.

And through all the blue of heaven's vault,
Rolls the Vala's mystic charm,
Swelled with strains of the mighty past—
Victory strikes with the Northman's arm.


Truly the old Northman is not dead among us. He lived in the iron Monitor, of the descendant of Eric, and he lives in scores of thousands of brave hearts and strong arms who came and are still coming to the battle-call:

'Northmen, come out!
Forth into battle with storm and shout,
He who lives with victory's blest;
He who dies gains peaceful rest.
Living or dying, let us be
Still vowed to God and liberty!
Northmen, come out!'

The following poem is certainly not behind the times:



Yes, pay them! pay them in their chosen coin,
Bomb-shell and cannon-balls, well served and hot;
Ay, 'shell out' all the treasures of 'the mine,'
Since that's the way we've got to 'pay the shot.'

We 'owe them one!' and now's the time to settle,
And finish up the business to a dot;
A half a million men, upon their metal,
Accounts will soon square off, and 'pay the shot.'

We owe them one; but 'tisn't one for niggers;
Master or slave no more shall treason plot.
We've settled that account with steel and triggers,
And the two millions, daily, 'pay the shot.'

We owe them one for hemp, that, coil on coil,
Judge Lynch has tendered us, in noose and knot;
We've now a sort that's grown upon free soil,
That, properly paid out, soon 'pays the shot.'

There's a snug sum due on the Sumner books;
That must be paid, each tittle and each jot;
A good accountant no mistake e'er brooks,
But strikes his balance fair, and 'pays the shot.'

There's some old 'scores,' on tar-and-feather martyrs,
We've now the 'devil to pay,' the 'pitch all hot;'
In every Jack-tar, Jeff now finds a Tar-tar,
[Pg 250]Bound to 'pitch in,' and bound to 'pay the shot.'

So, onward, mudsills! fanatics! vandals! vipers!
Wipe out this treason now, nor leave one blot;
When Dixie dances, Dixie must 'pay the piper;'
Enough for 'U. S.' that we must 'pay the shot.'

War stories and war songs are in vogue—for instance:


The accomplished, fascinating, talented, and beautiful Miss H——, as Jinkings calls her in his last Saratoga letter, has engaged her affections to Mr. John G——, and they are to be married some time. In the mean time, she has done all in her power to induce her lover to go and fight the battles of his country; so far unsuccessfully, since Mr. John G—— deems it his duty to stay at home and keep things steady, especially billiards, which, as we all know, is an erratic game, requiring great watching.

The other evening, Miss H——, while assisting at a sociable at Madame V——'s, was asked to sing. Seated at the piano, to the horror of expectant hearers of classic music, she began, with loudest voice, to sing:

'I'll trace these gardins o'er and o'er,
A med-i-tating on atche swate flowir,
A thinking on each bewcheous hour;
Oh! Johnny is gone for a sol-di-er.'

She then put her handkerchief to her eyes, pretended to sob bitterly, arose from the piano-stool, and sought an arm-chair.

Solicited by her confidential friend, Miss Belrose, to confide her affliction, she only answered:

'Oh! my Johnny G——'s gone for a soldier—to play billiards with him! And—and I know that that fast Lieutenant Gamble will keep him there for hours and hours.'

Young gentlemen, this is the time for bullets and not for balls; for cannons and not caroms; for rifle-pits to hole yourselves in, and not for 'pockets' wherein to hole your adversary. Apropos of which, listen to


Colonel X—— raised a regiment in the Ri-too-lal Rural districts of New-Jersey, including a by no means bad brass band.

Arrived in Washington with his force, he was unfortunate enough to meet with a wag, who at once told him he was afraid that he, the Colonel, would meet or rather come to grief shortly.

'How so?' asked Colonel X—— excitedly.

'H'm!' answered the wag, 'don't you see that those rural musicians of yours will be regarded as country-band of war?'

The Colonel saw it!

Do our readers remember a beautiful poem on Gottschalk's playing—Los ojos Criollos—which appeared some time since in the Home Journal? They will not regret to see a lyric in our pages by the writer of the first referred to:



'Twas in a Southern hospital, a week ago or more,
(God save us! how the days drag on, these weary times of war!)
They brought me, in the sultry noon, a youth whom they had found
Deserted by his regiment upon the battle-ground,
And bleeding his young life away through many a gaping wound.

'Dark-haired and slender as a girl, a handsome lad was he,
Despite the pallor of his wounds, each one an agony.
A ball had carried off his arm, and zig-zag passage frayed
Into his chest—so wild a rent that, when it was displayed,
I, veteran surgeon that I was, turned white as any maid.

''There is no hope?' he slowly said, noting my changing cheek;
I only shook my head: I dare not trust myself to speak;
But in that wordless negative, the boy had read his doom,
And turned about, as best he could, and lay in silent gloom,
Watching the summer sunlight make a glory of the room.

''My little hero!' said a voice, and then a woman's hand
[Pg 251]Lay like a lily on his curls: 'God give you self-command!'
'Mother!'—how full that thrilling word of pity and alarm—
'You here? my sweetest mother here?' and with his one poor arm
He got about her neck and drew her down with kisses warm.

''All the long, sultry night, when out—'(He shuddered as he said)—
'On yonder field I lay among the festering heaps of dead;
With awful faces close to mine, and clots of bloody hair,
And dead eyes gleaming through the dusk with such a rigid stare;
Through all my pain, O mother mine! I only prayed one prayer.

''Through all my pain—(and ne'er I knew what suffering was before!)—
I only prayed to see your face, to hear your voice once more;
The cold moon shone into my eyes—my prayer seemed all in vain.'
'My poor deluded boy!' she sobbed; her mother-fount of pain
O'erflowing down her gentle cheeks in drops like thunder-rain.

''Accursed be he whose cruel hand has wrought my son such ill!'
The boy sprang upright at the word, and shrieked aloud, 'Be still!
You know not what you say. O God! how shall I tell the tale!
How shall I smite her as she stands!' and with a moaning wail
He prone among the pillows dropped, his visage ashen pale.

''It was a bloody field,' he said, at last, like one who dozed;
'I know not how the day began—I know not how it closed;
I only know we fought like fiends, begrimed with blood and dust,
And did our duty to a man, as every soldier must,
And gave the rebels ball for ball, and paid them thrust for thrust.

'But when our gallant General rode up and down the line,
The sunlight striking on his sword until it flashed like wine,
And cried aloud (God bless his lips!) with such a cheery laugh,
'Charge bayonets, boys! Pitch into them, and scatter them like chaff!'
One half our men were drunk with blood, and mad the other half.

''My veins ran fire. O Heaven! hide the horrors of that plain!
We charged upon the rebel ranks and cut them down like grain.
One bright-haired man ran on my steel—I pierced him through and through;
The blood upspirted from his wound and sprinkled me like dew.
'Twas strange, but as I looked I thought of Cain and him he slew.

''Some impulse moved me to kneel down and touch him where he fell,
I turned him o'er—I saw his face—the sight was worse than hell!
There lay my brother—Curse me not!—pierced by my bayonet!'
O Christ! the pathos of that cry I never shall forget—
Men turned away to hide their tears, for every eye was wet.

'And the hard-featured woman-nurse, a sturdy wench was she,
Dropped down among us, in a swoon, from very sympathy.
'I saw his face, the same dear face which once (would we had died
In those old days of innocence!) was ever by my side,
At bed or board, at school or play, so fresh and merry-eyed!

''And now to see it white and set—to know the deed was mine!
A madness seized me as I knelt, accursed in God's sunshine.
I did not heed the balls which fell around us thick as rain,
I did not know my arm was gone;
I felt nor wound nor pain,
I only stooped and kissed those lips which ne'er would speak again.

''O Louis!' (and the lad looked up and brushed a tear aside,)
'O Louis! brother of my soul! my boyhood's fearless guide!
By the bright heaven where thou stand'st—by thy big-hearted faith—
By these the tears our mother sheds—by this my failing breath—
Forgive me for that murd'rous thrust which wounded thee to death.

''Forgive me! I would yield my life to give thee thine, my brother!
What's this? Don't shut the sunlight out; I can not see my mother.
The air blows sweet from yonder field!
Dear Lou, put up your sword.
Let's weave a little daisy-chain
upon this pleasant sward—'
And with a smile upon his mouth, the boy slept in the Lord.'
[Pg 252]

Such are the tragedies of civil war, the fearful probability of such events. But who has not heard of families with sons in either army, especially on the border, in Philadelphia, and Baltimore? We have heard seven such instances enumerated by one lady of the former city. Let us turn from tragedy to comedy:


The ladies of Christopher's Church, Philadelphia, have worked like true-hearted women for the wounded soldiers. Many a poor fellow has blessed them for their contributions to alleviate his pain and make the old hospital comfortable for him. In the congregation, one elderly maiden lady, who had so far given nothing, was called on by one of her energetic sisters in the church, and implored to do something for the poor soldiers. She was told that any thing that would render their sufferings less would be gratefully received.

She promised to send a donation. Nothing more was heard from her for a couple of weeks, when one morning the ladies assembled in the vestry-room of the church received a large basket from the elderly maiden lady. On opening it, they found three dozen starched muslin, night-cape, with frills all round them, bows and long strings.

'Did you ever?' asked Miss G——. 'I declare Miss—— has set her Caps for the soldiers in earnest this time.

We select the following as the best proposed completion of the unfinished poem by Fitz-James O'Brien, published in our July number:

Detroit, Mich., June 22d, 1862.

Editors of Continental: As you do not give the conclusion of that 'Watching the Stag,' I propose to finish it in this wise:

'Watching my face with half-closed eyes,'
As I lean my head on the dappled stag
That stiffens beneath a windward crag.

His flanks are black with the hardened sweat,
And a film has clouded his eye of jet;
While a round, red wound that oozes still,'
Tells of his fate and my marksman's skill.

Oh! the granite crags shall no longer feel
His fleet hoofs ringing like steel on steel,
And shepherd shall never again espy
His antlers painted against the sky!

The mountain tarn, so lone and cold,
The delicate shadow no more shall hold;
The fleetness has died in each rigid limb,
And never shall dun hound follow him!

Stanch Hela blinks as she half recalls
That savage chase through the mountain-walls,
And growls as she dreams how her white teeth sank
With a thirsty grip in his shuddering flank.

Dream on, good dog! through the night so chill,
Till sunrise surges over the hill,
Till the heather glows and the peaks are gay,
And then for our mountain-home hurra!

We are indebted to L. H. Brook, of Cambridge for a version of



Meine Ruh' ist hin,My peace is gone;
Mein Herz ist schwer,My heart is sore;
Ich finde sie nimmerI find it never
Und nimmermehr.And nevermore.
Wo ich ihn nicht hab',Where him I crave,
Ist mir das Grab;To me's the grave;
Die gauze WeltThe world and all
Ist mir vergällt.Seems turned to gall.
Mein armer KopfMy wretched head
Ist mir verrückt,Seems going mad;
Mein armer SinnMy wretched mind
Ist mir zerstückt.Is torn and sad.
Nach ihm nur schau' ichFor him I look
Zum Fenster hinaus,The casement out;
Nach ihm nur geh' ichHim only seek
Aus dem Haus.The town about.
Sein hoher Gang,His lofty step,
Sein' edle Gestalt.His noble form;
Seines Mundes Lächeln,The smile of his mouth,
Seiner Augen Gewalt.His eye's strong charm.
Und seiner RedeAnd in his voice
Zauberfluss,The magic bliss,
Sein Händedruck,His clasping hand,
Und ach! sein Kuss.And ah! his kiss.
Meine Ruh' ist hin,My peace is gone;
Mein Herz ist schwer,My heart is sore;
Ich finde sie nimmerI find it never
Und nimmermehr.And nevermore.
Mein Busen drängtMy bosom swells
Sich nach ihm hin;Toward him when near
Ach! dürft' ich fassenAh! might I fold
Und halten ihn!And hold him there!
Und küssen ihnAnd could I kiss him
So wie ich wollt',While I may,
An seinen KüssenUpon his kiss
Vergehen sollt'!I'd die away!

[Pg 253]


The Continental Monthly has passed its experimental ordeal, and stands firmly established in popular regard. It was started at a period when any new literary enterprise was deemed almost foolhardy, but the publisher believed that the time had arrived for just such a Magazine. Fearlessly advocating the doctrine of ultimate and gradual Emancipation, for the sake of the UNION and the WHITE MAN, it has found favor in quarters where censure was expected, and patronage where opposition only was looked for. While holding firmly to its own opinions, it has opened its pages to POLITICAL WRITERS of widely different views, and has made a feature of employing the literary labors of the younger race of American writers. How much has been gained by thus giving, practically, the fullest freedom to the expression of opinion, and by the infusion of fresh blood into literature, has been felt from month to month in its constantly increasing circulation.

The most eminent of our Statesmen have furnished THE CONTINENTAL many of its political articles, and the result is, it has not given labored essays fit only for a place in ponderous encyclopedias, but fresh, vigorous, and practical contributions on men and things as they exist.

It will be our effort to go on in the path we have entered, and as a guarantee of the future, we may point to the array of live and brilliant talent which has brought so many encomiums on our Magazine. The able political articles which have given it so much reputation will be continued in each issue, together with the new Novel by Richard B. Kimball, the eminent author of the 'Under-Currents of Wall-Street,' 'St, Leger,' etc., entitled,


An account of the Life and Conduct of Hiram Meeker, one of the leading men in the mercantile community, and 'a bright and shining light' in the Church, recounting what he did, and how he made his money. This work excels the previous brilliant productions of this author. In the present number is also commenced a new Serial by the author of 'Among the Pines,' entitled,


which will depict Southern white society, and be a truthful history of some eminent Northern merchants who are largely in 'the cotton trade and sugar line.'

The UNION—The Union of ALL THE STATES—that indicates our politics. To be content with no ground lower than the highest—that is the standard of our literary character.

We hope all who are friendly to the spread of our political views, and all who are favorable to the diffusion of a live, fresh, and energetic literature, will lend us their aid to increase our circulation. There is not one of our readers who may not influence one or two more, and there is in every town in the loyal States some active person whose time might be profitably employed in procuring subscribers to our work. To encourage such to act for us we offer the following very liberal


Two copies for one year,Five dollars.
Three copies for one year,Six dollars.
Six copies for one year,Eleven dollars.
Eleven copies for one year,Twenty dollars.
Twenty copies for one year,Thirty-six dollars.

Postage, Thirty-six cents a year, to be paid by the Subscriber.


Three dollars a year, in advance. Postage paid by the Publisher.

J. R. GILMORE, 532 Broadway, New-York, and 110 Tremont Street, Boston.

CHARLES T. EVANS, 532 Broadway, New-York, GENERAL AGENT.[Pg 254]

Finest Farming Lands



At FROM $8 to $12 PER ACRE,

Near Markets, Schools, Railroads, Churches, and all the blessings of Civilization.

1,200,000 Acres, in Farms of 40, 80, 120, 160 Acres and upwards, in ILLINOIS, the Garden State of America.

The Illinois Central Railroad Company offer, ON LONG CREDIT, the beautiful and fertile PRAIRIE LANDS lying along the whole line of their Railroad. 700 MILES IN LENGTH, upon the most Favorable Terms for enabling Farmers, Manufacturers, Mechanics and Workingmen to make for themselves and their families a competency, and a HOME they can call THEIR OWN, as will appear from the following statements:


Is about equal in extent to England, with a population of 1,722,666, and a soil capable of supporting 20,000,000. No State in the Valley of the Mississippi offers so great an inducement to the settler as the State of Illinois. There is no part of the world where all the conditions of climate and soil so admirably combine to produce those two great staples, Corn and Wheat.


Nowhere can the Industrious farmer secure such immediate results from his labor as on these deep, rich, loamy soils, cultivated with so much ease. The climate from the extreme southern part of the State to the Terre Haute, Alton and St. Louis Railroad, a distance of nearly 200 miles, is well adapted to Winter.


Peaches, Pears, Tomatoes, and every variety of fruit and vegetables is grown in great abundance, from which Chicago and other Northern markets are furnished from four to six weeks earlier than their immediate vicinity. Between the Terre Haute, Alton & St. Louis Railway and the Kankakee and Illinois Rivers, (a distance of 115 miles on the Branch, and 136 miles on the Main Trunk,) lies the great Corn and Stock raising portion of the State.


of Corn is from 60 to 80 bushels per acre. Cattle, Horses, Mules, Sheep and Hogs are raised here at a small cost, and yield large profits. It is believed that no section of country presents greater inducements for Dairy Farming than the Prairies of Illinois, a branch of farming to which but little attention has been paid, and which must yield sure profitable results. Between the Kankakee and Illinois Rivers, and Chicago and Dunleith, (a distance of 56 miles on the Branch and 147 miles by the Main Trunk,) Timothy Hay, Spring Wheat, Corn, &c., are produced in great abundance.


The Agricultural products of Illinois are greater than those of any other State. The Wheat crop of 1861 was estimated at 35,000,000 bushels, while the Corn crop yields not less than 140,000,000 bushels besides the crop of Oats, Barley, Rye, Buckwheat, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Pumpkins, Squashes, Flax, Hemp, Peas, Clover, Cabbage, Beets, Tobacco, Sorgheim, Grapes, Peaches, Apples, &c., which go to swell the vast aggregate of production in this fertile region. Over Four Million tons of produce were sent out the State of Illinois during the past year.


In Central and Southern Illinois uncommon advantages are presented for the extension of Stock raising. All kinds of Cattle, Horses, Mules, Sheep, Hogs, &c., of the best breeds, yield handsome profits; large fortunes have already been made, and the field is open for others to enter with the fairest prospects of like results. Dairy Farming also presents its inducements to many.


The experiments in Cotton culture are of very great promise. Commencing in latitude 39 deg. 30 min. (see Mattoon on the Branch, and Assumption on the Main Line), the Company owns thousands of acres well adapted to the perfection of this fibre. A settler having a family of young children, can turn their youthful labor to a most profitable account in the growth and perfection of this plant.


Traverses the whole length of the State, from the banks of the Mississippi and Lake Michigan to the Ohio. As its name imports, the Railroad runs through the centre of the State, and on either side of the road along its whole length lie the lands offered for sale.


There are Ninety-eight Depots on the Company's Railway, giving about one every seven miles. Cities, Towns and Villages are situated at convenient distances throughout the whole route, where every desirable commodity may be found as readily as in the oldest cities of the Union, and where buyers are to be met for all kinds of farm produce.


Mechanics and working-men will find the free school system encouraged by the State, and endowed with a large revenue for the support of the schools. Children can live in sight of the school, the college, the church, and grow up with the prosperity of the leading State in the Great Western Empire.


80 acres at $10 per acre, with interest at 6 per ct. annually on the following terms:

Cash payment $48 00
Paymentin one year48 00
"in two years48 00
"in three years48 00
"in four years236 00
"in five years224 00
"in six years212 00

40 acres, at $10 00 per acre:

Cash payment $24 00
Paymentin one year24 00
"in two years24 00
"in three years24 00
"in four years118 00
"in five years112 00
"in six years106 00

[Pg 255]




Devoted to Literature and National Policy.




Henry Thomas Buckle,253
The Molly O'Molly Papers,257
Hopeful Tackett—His Mark,262
John Bull to Jonathan,265
Jonathan to John Bull,265
American Student Life,266
Go In and Win,274
John Neal,275
The Soldier and the Civilian,281
Author Borrowing,285
Maccaroni and Canvas,290
Anthony Trollope on America,302
Up and Act,314
Reminiscences of Andrew Jackson,318
Shakspeare's Caricature of Richard III.,320
The Negro in the Revolution,324
A Merchant's Story, By the author of "Among the Pines,"328
The Children in the Wood,354
National Unity,357
Was he Successful?360
Literary Notices,366
Editor's Table,369

The article in this issue on NATIONAL UNITY, is by the Hon. Horace Greeley, who will hereafter contribute to each number of 'The Continental.'

SHOULDER-STRAPS, by Henry Morford, Esq., author of 'Rhymes of Twenty Years,' will be a sparkling commentary on 'Men, Manners, and Motives in 1862.' It will depict some prominent characters whose love of the UNION is shown in a decided penchant for 'shoulder-straps.'

The future chapters of 'A MERCHANT'S STORY,' by the author of 'Among the Pines,' will be mainly descriptive of Southern life and society.

Entered, according to Act of Congress in the year 1862, by James R. Gilmore, in the Clerk's Office of the District Court of the United States for the Southern District of New-York.

End of the Project Gutenberg EBook of The Continental Monthly, Vol. 2, No.
2, August, 1862, by Various


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